Most people think of wills as documents that are meant to distribute property after someone dies. That is indeed one important aspect of a will, but there is another that many people have never thought about: The ability of a will to determine how your child will be cared for after you are gone.
Life is unpredictable, and if you should die unexpectedly, your will is going to be a major factor that influences the future of your family. In this post, we’ll go over some of the things that a will can do for your children, and how you can make a will of your own.
What can a will do for my kids?
Your will can include several stipulations regarding the welfare of your children. It can:
- Designate your children’s legal guardian
- Choose a trustee to manage the money you leave your children until they are adults
- Name an executor to handle your will and allot your property to your children
- Deal with child support payments or custody arrangements if you are divorced
- Donate organs to your children or other loved ones
- Donate to a charity that is special to them, in their name
- Give each child the property that you would like them to have
What happens without a will?
In most states, if you die without a will, your property and assets will be divided up according to a court of law. Usually your assets will go to your spouse or your children. There is no guarantee that the property you would have wanted to give your children will go to them. If you have specific heirlooms that you would like to give to assign to certain children, you should include this information in your will.
If your will doesn’t stipulate a legal guardian, the court system may decide who will have custody of the children. Without your input, this could be someone whose parenting ideals you do not agree with, someone you would not have chosen to raise your family.
How do I make a will?
There are a few ways to make a will, but the most legally sound is to consult an attorney who specializes in family law and estate planning. Creating an airtight will that provides for your children can give you peace of mind regarding your family’s future.