People often put off writing a will. Maybe they think it’s too confusing. Maybe they think they don’t really need one. Maybe they plan to do it and they just don’t have the time.
One of the events in life that really makes the need for a will more clear, though, is when a child arrives. The first day with that new child in the hospital, holding them and looking at them under the fluorescent lights, you may realize that you want to get started on that estate planning.
It is a good time to do it. People with children need to leave them some type of guidance on what to do when they pass away, and a will gives them that direction. It ensures that they know what you wanted and that they have the tools to make it happen. Here are a few more reasons why it’s important to write a will if you have children:
Minor children need care
In this example, your child is still a minor and will be for 18 years. Young children need care when their parents pass away, and part of estate planning means picking a guardian to watch the kids if needed. The guardian can give them a home, handle their money and take on all of your other parental roles. Make sure your children have a stable, healthy life even when you are not there to give it to them.
You want to limit disputes
If you have multiple children, regardless of age, you do want to limit the odds of a dispute over your estate. Leaving the children without a will or estate plan massively increases the odds.
One child wants to keep the house; another wants to sell it. One child thinks they deserve more money than the other. The children cannot agree on what type of medical care you want at the end of your life, when you can no longer tell them.
Disputes happen for a ton of reasons; these are just a few examples. The disputes can stretch on for a long time and may impact those relationships for the rest of your children’s lives. There is no way to guarantee this won’t happen, but the best thing you can do is to leave them a solid estate plan to guide them.
So, holding your child and thinking about the potential future, are you now sure that you want to write a will? If so, make sure you understand what steps you need to take to get started.