Having children is something that most people plan for and look forward to. Bringing someone into this world comes with a lot of responsibility, though.
When you have children, it’s also time to update your estate plan. One of the most important aspects to focus on is conservatorship.
Conservatorship is a legal process that establishes who will care for your children if you cannot. A conservatorship may also be used for other dependents, such as an elderly parent or an adult who is unable to care for themselves.
Types of conservators
There are two types of conservators you can designate in your estate plan. These include:
- Conservator of the person: Individual named to be responsible for the care and custody of children or another person.
- Conservator of the estate: Individual named to manage your finances (you can leave specific instructions in other parts of your estate plan).
It’s worth noting that the person you name as conservator plays a huge role in your life and the life of your children. Because of this, you need to think about who you choose carefully.
Discuss conservatorship before making it official
Some people name their parents (the child’s grandparents), a sibling, another relative or a close friend as conservators in their estate plan. Be sure to discuss this decision with the individual before you make them the official conservator to ensure they are comfortable with the decision.
Make sure your estate plan is up to date
Along with naming a conservator, there may be other changes you need to make in your estate plan after having children. This includes beneficiaries in your will and for your life insurance policies. Knowing the legal options you have with your estate plan will help you ensure it is updated and accurate for your current stage in life.