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Who will raise your child if you pass away?

New parents here in Las Vegas and elsewhere often anxiously and excitedly await the newest additions to their families. Perhaps you are one of them. During this time, there is often a flurry of buying. Diaper genies, baby bathtubs, diapers and everything else a baby will need, you purchase and prepare before the arrival. 

One thing that new parents, including you, ought to add to the list is estate planning. It is often the last thing that many new families think about since they feel they have their whole lives ahead of them, but no one knows what the future holds, and making preparations now helps protect their children.

Who will raise your child?

As a new parent, there are certain aspects of estate planning for you to focus on. One of the most important is choosing someone to take care of and raise your child if you pass away. Making this decision is not as simple as pulling a name out of a hat. You need to feel comfortable that whomever you choose will raise your child similarly to you. You need to trust the person you choose to serve as guardian. You and your spouse both need to feel comfortable with your choice.

Perhaps more importantly, the person you choose must accept the responsibility. He or she may simply feel honored at first and may think it will never happen. However, you need to impress upon your choice that he or she will be taking in your child -- forever. This person will become a parent, possibly overnight and unexpectedly if an accident occurs. Even if a long illness leads to you passing away, your chosen guardian needs to understand the enormity of the task.

Who will handle your child's finances?

Minors cannot inherit property. More than likely, you will want your assets held in trust for your child's care. This helps alleviate at least some of the burden placed on the guardian. The trustee responsible for administering the trust can be the same person, but it does not have to be. You can choose someone else to oversee the trust if that makes you more comfortable. It also creates a sense of checks and balances if that puts your mind at ease.

However you choose to arrange for the care of your child in the event of your death, you need to put your plan into place as soon as possible. Thereafter, you can focus on enjoying your new bundle of joy and beginning your new life as a parent.

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