You are so excited once you find out you are pregnant, then the amazing baby comes out and the excitement doesn’t stop. Unfortunately there is one step in this childhood process that we rarely want to think about but just HAVE to do: CREATING YOUR WILL. Who wants to sit there and think, what would I do if I can’t be with my children anymore? What will happen to my kids? It’s the scariest feeling in the world but parents life is very unpredictable and it’s better to think this through than to avoid the whole situation. You rather be prepared and know that your kids will be taken care of no matter what. For this reason, it’s a great idea to write a will with a solicitor for peace of mind about the future.
Here are some tips that you can use:
What is a will?
A will is a legal document in which you, the testator, declare who will manage your estate after you die. A will also helps declare who you wish to become the guardian for any minor children or dependents, and who you want to receive specific items that you own.
Who will take care of your kids?
Communicate with your spouse or significant other about who will be best to take on guardianship of your children and handle finances. Brainstorm a list of potential guardians for your children in case your spouse dies with or after you. Don’t feel bad because you don’t choose your sister, brother or best friend. That does not mean you love them any less but their family dynamic could be totally different than what you want for your kids and there is nothing wrong with that.
Before you decide who the guardian is…
Discuss your will with the guardians you chose. You want to make sure they are OK with this decision and that they can fulfill what you want for your child. Even family may have financial issues you do not know about so it’s best to talk to them before making a formal decision. Also consider naming an alternate guardian in case the first cannot serve for any reason.
Appoint an executor
This person will manage your children’s inheritance. Make sure you appoint someone with financial background so they fully understand how they need to handle the inheritance. If you don’t have anyone you want to appoint, a bank can also serve this role.
How will they receive their inheritance?
Decide how you want to split your estate up between your spouse and your children. Remember the minors will require more support until they reach adulthood. Most commonly people divide their estate by leaving a percentage to all their children in equal parts, with minor children receiving their inheritance at majority. This is not something that many people like to think about, but it is something worth doing for your kid’s future. If you are finding it difficult to do this on your own, you may want to professional inheritance attorneys like Albertson Davidson, LLP who can help make this process a lot less stressful and assist you in going about it the right way.
In terms of them actually getting the money they have a few options:
- Leaving assets in a restricted account if the amount of money your minor is receiving is not significant. These types of accounts can be used to provide for the health, education and maintenance of the minor until he or she reaches the age of 18 or 21. As soon as they turn 18 or 21 the minor will receive the inheritance so only use this for small amounts of money.
- Hold a minor beneficiary’s inheritance in trust and pay when they reach a certain age or achieves a specific goal, then they’ll receive an outright distribution of their inheritance.
- Leave a minor beneficiary’s inheritance in trust for their entire lifetime.
What about education?
Lay out exactly what type of education you want for your kids. Home schooling, public school, private school, college? You will have to plan out your estate so your kids will be taken care of based on the decisions you make.
How do I create a will?
You can either go through a law office or even create one on your own online. There are a number of services that do this for a small fee.
Remember parents, make sure you talk your decisions through with everyone involved so they are on the same page as you.