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Estate-Planning Musts for New Parents

Estate planning expert and author Deborah Jacobs offers tips for how parents' wills can effectively designate a transfer of assets and guardianship should something happen to them.

Christine Benz: Another category of individuals I'd like to discuss would be the new parents of a young child. So, maybe people who are in their peak earning years--what should they have in mind?

Deborah Jacobs: Well, the most important thing--and it's something that I recommend people do almost immediately after becoming parents--is to be sure that you have a will. This is not only to transfer assets but to appoint a guardian for your child if for some reason the child is orphaned. People don't realize that a will is the only document they can use to do this, and if they don't, then the whole matter has to go to court.