Christopherson, Anderson Paulson & Fideler, LLP Attorneys at Law Christopherson, Anderson Paulson & Fideler, LLP Attorneys at Law
Representing clients in Sioux Falls and throughout South Dakota
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Estate planning questions for expectant parents

Sioux Falls is one of the fastest growing cities in America. The recent economic boom has attracted young families to the area to take on emerging jobs in health care, banking and beyond. A move or change of career is an exciting time in life. With these significant changes often comes the most joyful of them all - a new baby!

A new job or new address often shifts a couple's focus to property ownership and retirement plans, but how does a newborn fit into it all? Expectant parents are likely facing a variety of questions about the future. Thankfully, legal protections are available to ensure that the important things in life like the house, retirement accounts and children are safe for the future.

All of these lifetime essentials fall under the umbrella of estate planning, and expectant parents should be aware of certain considerations under the law. Only one-third of parents with children under the age of 18 have written an estate plan. Planning for a newborn can raise tough questions, but writing an estate plan can help provide answers.

It is easy to assume that every new couple with a newborn in a growing city is facing the same issues, but this is not the case at all. In fact, every estate plan can be written to the unique needs of each family. Knowing the right questions to ask an estate planning attorney can help young couples tailor their plan to their life goals.

Here are three frequently asked questions for expectant parents:

1. What is a trust?

A trust outlines the distribution of property to a person, called the trustee. A parent or grandparent may want to begin a trust for a newborn grandchild to ensure their wellbeing into adulthood.

When a child is named as the trustee, he or she must wait until a certain age to take full responsibility for the account. An attorney can answer questions related tax considerations and personal implications of a trust for a child.

2. How do I plan for an emergency?

A document called a "power of attorney" outlines a plan for decision making when a person is unable to do so themselves. Different circumstances may call for different actions. An estate planning attorney can discuss the various powers of attorney and what it means for the family.

3. Can the estate plan change?

Yes, an estate plan can and should change as a family grows. What is right today may not be so when a newborn becomes a big brother or sister, or when a small starter home becomes a sprawling, three bedroom ranch.

Writing an estate plan to accommodate a growing family will ensure that loved ones are secure for generations to come.

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