Adoption can be a wonderful way to grow your family. If you decide to bring a child into your household through adoption, you may also want to create or update your estate plan to reflect this change in your family.
Review the specific estate plan considerations related to adoption to ensure your assets will support your children and grandchildren in your eventual absence.
Your will allows you to designate a guardian in case you die while your children are still minors. Adopted children may have special needs related to abandonment or other types of trauma depending on the circumstances of their early lives. In light of this situation, carefully choose a guardian who your child loves and trusts and who you trust to meet your child’s physical and mental health needs.
You can also provide for your children in your will by leaving them certain property and assets. If you die without a will, Florida law treats adopted and biological children equally for inheritance purposes. This law does not apply to pending adoptions, so consider updating your will as soon as you adopt a child but before finalizing the adoption in court.
With a trust, you transfer assets to the ownership of the trust and name a trustee to manage these assets. This structure often provides tax benefits while ensuring that your children have financial support in your absence. For example, you may want to create a trust that would provide for schooling, medical needs and other expenses.
If you have not yet planned your estate, a change in the family such as adoption is the perfect time to start this important process.