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Expectant parents take the time to decorate the nursery, read up on parenting styles and install safety devices all over their homes, but they often forget one important task — updating their will. Estate planning is more important than ever for new parents. With a new life in the mix, Tennessee parents should be certain they make necessary changes to their estates.  

Choosing a guardian can be difficult. After all, no parent wants to think about not being around to raise their children. However, in the event that both parents become incapacitated or suffer untimely deaths, they can still exercise some control over their child’s future. Parents should select a guardian who they believe will parent with similar ideals and who has the ability and willingness to take on the responsibility. Although grandparents are popular choices, asking individuals who might be on fixed incomes or at a later stage in their life might be a burden. 

If they did not have them before, setting up living documents is essential. If both parents were involved in a car accident and incapacitated, who would access their funds to continue providing financial support for their child? What about health care decisions? Powers of attorney can address both of these issues. Financial powers of attorney gives someone the legal right to control the finances of the person granting the power under certain circumstances, and health care powers of attorney — also called health care proxies — allows a designated individual to make important decisions regarding medical care. 

By selecting a guardian and establishing living documents, new parents can be certain their child will be cared for regardless of what happens to them. However, virtually anyone can benefit from these types of estate planning strategies. Whether new parents, single parents or adults without children, Tennessee residents should be certain that they review their estate plan on annual basis and apply new strategies or documents as needed.