Expecting parents and new parents frequently have many discussions about the futures of their children. It can be exciting to choose the name of a baby. Dreaming about high school graduation, college and the opportunities for the future are exciting times. There are other topics expecting parents and new parents struggle with. Potential changes to work schedules, managing and financing day care and adjusting the household budget to provide for a new child are common concerns.

Parents-to-be and parents of newborn children may understand the need to plan for the care of a child if both parents are involved in an accident or other tragedies arise that make it impossible for mom and dad to continue to raise the child. Unfortunately, estate planning is often an uncomfortable topic for people to address. Only 36 percent of parents of children younger than 18 have any estate planning documents in place, according to Wealth Management and Caring.com.

Estate planning is important for parents who want a say in who will raise their children should they suffer an incapacitating accident, or should they pass away unexpectedly. While most people understand that a will or trust may be used to address how assets should be handled and transferred after their death, estate planning serves many other functions that new parent should fully consider.

You can let your wishes be known and decide for yourself who should raise your children. Without a will to name a guardian for your children, the courts will make the decision under Michigan law. Moreover, disputes may erupt among relatives or between the paternal and maternal family lines.

A will, a set of powers of attorney, or other estate planning tools can help you to not only protect the future of your child, but also to reduce the risk of contentious legal battles among your loved ones. Because your family dynamics, goals and circumstances will differ from other households, it is important to discuss your thoughts with a seasoned estate planning lawyer who can provide detailed guidance to help ensure your wishes will be followed.

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