For young parents with small children, or maybe a first child on the way, estate planning is likely the last item on the agenda. The need for writing a will is low. Everyone is healthy, the job is stable, the weather is nice and the grass is green. In a perfect world, things would stay that way forever, and even in an imperfect world, things can still be good for many more years; long after your children have the left home and begun families of their own.
No one wants to think about estate planning, or creating a will, because it implies an end and assumes that one might come sooner than later. Still, for young parents in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s, creating a will is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your children.
Wills are about more than simple asset division and distribution, though that is certainly a part of probate. Imagine that something happens to you. If you are married or otherwise involved with someone, include your partner. Do you know what would happen to your child if you were gone?
A will allows you to give an opinion on where your child will live, and who he or she will live with, in the event of your death. For example, if you would want your mother to be the child’s guardian, a will can help make sure this happens.
Without a will, the court will be trusted to decide what is best for your child. Though never proceeding with bad intentions, the judge does not know your family, your friends or your relationship with any of them. By providing for your child’s welfare in a will, the judge is not relied upon to have these insights.
We take care of ourselves, play it safe, but things can still go wrong. Tragedy happens every day. However, you can do a lot to ensure that you retain some control over the future.
- Why Every Parent Needs a Will (Baby Center)