When it comes to being a parent, it is your job to make sure that your child is taken care of. There are many ways that you can do this. You make sure they have food, shelter, clothing, toys, your love, and so much more. One of the important things you may be overlooking is a will.
Learn more about why every parent needs a will.
- What? This legal document states who will inherit all of your property including cars, jewelry, real estate, bank accounts, and other belongings after you pass. In your will, you can leave everything to a single person or you can share it among many people. While you may not care where your belongings end up, a will is much more than that if you have children.
- Why? The most important thing you can do as a parent is create a will. Your will assures that your child is properly taken care of should something unfortunate happen to you. In this legal document, you designate a guardian to take care of your child before they are legally able to take care of themselves.
- How? Your money and children will not necessarily go to whom you want them to go to without a will. State laws determine how the children, money, and property will be divided. In a majority of the states, the spouse, if you have one, will receive anywhere from a third to a half of the estate. The rest is typically earmarked for your child.
- When? While you may be fine with the arrangement based on the state law, there is more. Some states appoint an administrator, who charges a fee, which will control your child’s money until they are of legal age. This means your spouse will not be able to use this money to help raise the children unless he or she chooses to go through a legal procedure that is quite complicated. Even then, your spouse must account for the money spent each year.
- Where? Creating a will is something that you can do yourself, but it does require a lot of time and energy, and some money. A lawyer can help you create a will that will assure your child has a guardian of your choosing should something happen to you. The will also assures that your property is shared with the proper individuals.