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What New Parents Need to Know About Estate Planning?

While assembling a new crib or changing diapers, estate planning is probably the farthest thing from your mind. However, life’s busyness does not diminish the importance of making sure your family has everything they need in case something unfortunate were to happen to you.


Where should you start?


Begin with your living documents. These are documents that will help ensure that your family will be taken care of.


Select a Power of Attorney (POA). There are different types of power of attorney, the three most common being a limited POA, a durable POA (that is, someone you designate as your POA for life), and a POA for healthcare, or health care proxy. A health care proxy is essentially a durable power of attorney responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are incapacitated. You should select someone you trust and who is able to bear the weight of such responsibility.


Create Your Advance Health Care Directive. Creating an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), also known as simply an Advance Directive, is important for all individuals over 18 years of age. Having a thoughtful and well-crafted AHCD will ensure that your wishes are properly conveyed and provide your loved ones with peace of mind knowing that your wishes are clearly stated.


Take out a Life Insurance Policy. Calculating how much life insurance you will need isn’t always straight forward. To calculate this, plan for what you think your family will need by considering their ages and likely life expectancy.


Create a Will. A will is the best way to avoid family disputes over property and can decrease legal expenses when there is no will. A will is a kindness to your loved ones as it can help them make decisions about your estate.



For a free, confidential conversation to discuss estate planning, contact Maryland estate attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959, or by emailing