There’s an overwhelming amount of stuff you need to think about when expecting a baby. What to name the baby and what things the baby will need, among many others. But there are likewise other more crucial things to consider, such as creating a will.
You Should Start Estate Planning Now
It may be morbid to consider creating a will at a time that must be filled with joy, but a huge part of becoming a parent is ensuring that your child will have the best possible future. Although some parents live to see their children grow up and have families of their own, others might not be so fortunate due to a fatal accident or health problem.
The ideal way to prepare for such circumstances is to make a will. Take note that both parents should ideally create their own valid will. If you share child custody or are married and one parent dies, the child will usually remain in the custody of the surviving parent, regardless of what the will states.
On the other hand, if the sole custodial parent or both parents pass away, the guardian you chose for your child, as stated in your will, will become your child’s legal guardian. It’s immensely crucial to ensure that your will contains the following:
- Your Chosen Legal Guardian: This is unarguably the most vital part of your will. Your chosen guardian will be responsible for the daily aspects of parenting and taking over the legal responsibility for your precious child.
- How Your Assets Should be Distributed: You should include in your will specific instructions on who should get assets like real estate, jewelry, letters, collectibles, and such. If you don’t assign a specific recipient to an asset, it would be included as part of your other assets and then allocated based on the general provisions in your will.
- Your Chosen Financial Guardian: This may or may not be the same individual as the legal guardian. This individual will be tasked to oversee and distribute your assets for your child’s benefit until your child can legally manage the assets on their own.
What Happens If You Pass Away Without Leaving a Will
The state will be responsible for determining the custody of your child and the division of your assets if you pass away without a valid will. In general, state statutes known as the intestate laws will determine such matters.
It would be best to make sure to seek accurate legal advice from estate planning and child custody lawyers when planning your will. Also, under the statutes of most states, the surviving spouse can only receive a percentage of the estate when there are children.
Because of these potential issues, it’s crucial to protect your kids by having a valid will, regardless of whether the state would choose the same legal and financial guardians you would’ve chosen or if you only have a small estate. Remember, your circumstances could change instantly, but your will could help secure your children’s future.