Maybe you and your spouse decided to have another child several years after the last one was born. Or maybe the two of you had an unplanned pregnancy. Either way, a new child is a welcome and beloved addition to the family, whether their siblings are five or even ten years older.
Still, going back to late-night feedings and diaper changes after so many years will require a big adjustment. It’s also a good time to consider adjusting your estate plan to best fit your newest family member. Some tips include:
- Update your beneficiary designations. The language in your will probably take into account the possibility that you will have more children than you did the day you signed it. But things like your life insurance policy don’t because they are not included in your will. So if your life insurance currently names your older children as beneficiaries, you will probably want to add your youngest too.
- Consider who the designated guardians for your kids are in case you and your spouse pass away. Raising a 10-year-old is different than raising a newborn. Your guardians might have the energy and ability to care for an older child, but a baby or toddler might be asking too much of them.
- If you’ve made your older children fiduciaries of your estate — meaning, the executors or trustees — with the assumption that they will be legal adults when the time comes, you might want to add your new baby too. Assuming you have no reason to expect to die before your youngest turns 18, all your children could work together to handle your final affairs.
Like any major life event, a new baby is a good reason to review your estate plan. As the years go by and your family makeup changes, what used to make sense might no longer be appropriate or wise for your plan.