New parents are likely overwhelmed with having a new addition in the family, even with all the joy they feel. Alberta couples or single individuals who are parents for the first time may not even have estate planning on their radar, but they actually should for a number of reasons. No parent ever wants to think about being in a position of not being able to care for their baby, but planning for unforeseen events is crucial.
The first thing new parents should take care of -- besides making sure they have a will -- is choosing a guardian for their child should they not be able to care for him or her. If one parent dies, the other will assume care of the child, but if both parents should pass away, someone has to step in to take over caring for the child. Most often parents will choose a family member or close friend whose values and beliefs closely mirror their own, but if the guardianship should come into play, the person named guardian would still have to go to court to apply to become the child's legal guardian.
Then there is the question of inheritance -- how much and when? Would a trust be the best choice? Would they get an inheritance in a lump sum or at certain intervals? Parents also have to think about preparing their children to receive an inheritance.
Along with all the other things new Alberta parents need to think about, they should add estate planning to the list. Meeting with an experienced lawyer may serve to answer questions new parents might have about fashioning a comprehensive estate plan that is in line with their personal situations. A lawyer can help new parents to check one more thing off their to do list.