We all want what’s best for our children and parents go to great lengths to ensure their children’s safety and wellbeing. Yet, many young parents put off an important step in protecting their children: writing a will.
Should you die intestate – that is, without a will or living trust – your assets will be distributed in accordance with state laws, which can be complicated and might not be consistent with your wishes.
For parents of minor children, a will is especially important because it is your way of letting all your survivors and the courts know exactly who you want to look after your children and their interests.
Many parents of young children procrastinate when it comes to drafting a will. They might feel they do not have a clear choice for a guardian for their children or planning for a child might simply be too overwhelming. However, if you are a parent, writing a will is critical to making sure your children are cared for by people you would choose if anything happens to you. Without a will, the courts may choose for you.
When you develop a will, you may designate a guardian to care for surviving children and you may also lay out how you want your children’s inheritance managed until they reach adulthood. Having this document in place, no matter the value of your assets, provides you peace of mind, knowing your wishes will be expressed and your estate will be managed to benefit your children.
All adults should address how their assets and responsibilities would be handled in the event of their death. In addition to a will, an estate plan typically includes a durable power of attorney for health care and personal care as well as a general durable power of attorney. Additionally, those with more complicated needs may require a trust.
The attorneys at Skeeters, Bennett, Wilson & Pike recommend consulting an attorney with estate planning experience who can consider your individual circumstances and help you develop a proper estate plan.