Estate Planning: 5 Important Parenting Choices That I've Made


My husband and I sit at a boardroom table and wait for the lawyer. Our son is at preschool and the baby sleeps beside me in her car seat. We sip coffee as a paralegal prepares pens and paperwork. We’re quiet, both checking our phones, waiting to get underway.

I think about my kids. They don’t know what their parents are doing and wouldn’t understand that it’s the best thing for them in the longrun.

No, we’re not getting a divorce. We’re signing our wills.

I’ve written about this before but it really bears repeating. Getting your affairs in order in case the worst happens is just good parenting. Wills, living trusts, life insurance. It’s complicated and tedious and can cost a lot upfront but having it done is such a relief. I would recommend talking to a lawyer or estate planning professional rather than using software or a website to do your will. The whole process was more complicated that I thought it would be and I was glad to have an expert guiding me through it.

I’m no lawyer and none of this is legal advice but here are the 5 things that I thought about when I was planning my estate:

  • Who Will Take Care of the Kids? 1 of 5
    Who Will Take Care of the Kids?
    This was my single most important item. Establishing guardianship for my kids if my husband and I both die was critical. Talk to your potential guardians and work with a lawyer to get it on paper.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Would I Need To Work If My Husband Dies? 2 of 5
    Would I Need To Work If My Husband Dies?
    I'm a stay at home mom so my husband's salary is our entire income. Planning to replace that income through insurance in the event of his death is critical.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • How Much Life Insurance Do We Need? 3 of 5
    How Much Life Insurance Do We Need?
    Think carefully about how much life insurance you need. Consider housing, education, health care and other expenses over the long term. And even a stay at home parent needs life insurance. If you died, your policy should be enough to help cover childcare in your absence. Talk to a professional about your specific needs.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Do I Need A Trust? 4 of 5
    Do I Need A Trust?
    A living trust can provide a tax shelter so your kids or spouse owe less upon your death. It also saves you from probate filings and protects the privacy of your estate. Talk to a lawyer about setting one up.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • What Estate Taxes Will We Be Subject To? 5 of 5
    What Estate Taxes Will We Be Subject To?
    When you consider the value of life insurance policies and your home, you may be worth more than you expect. Figure out the value of your estate and how much your beneficiaries would owe in taxes. An estate lawyer can help you figure that out.
    Photo Credit: photo stock

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

Photo credit: photo stock


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