Parenting is a lot of responsibility, combined with a lot of work. It also takes a lot of energy. That may be why many parents don’t get around to making a will right after a child is born. That’s okay.
However, even for parents in their 20s or 30s, a will is a very important document to have. Not just for your child but for your family and friends as well.
Some of the significant details addressed by a will include:
Guardianship of your children
The most important aspect covered in a will is the guardianship of any minor children. If something should happen to you and the child’s other parent, it’s important to have a safety net in place. New Jersey does its best to place children with their best interest in mind, but it cannot possibly know that you would much rather your best friend gets custody instead of your brother.
This creates situations where loved ones who may be the best-suited for raising your children must battle in court to gain custody.
Naming beneficiaries to all assets
Whether you have a life insurance policy, a solid 401(k) or other long-term assets, it’s important to get them transferred over to your children should anything happen to you. By creating a will outlining these types of directives, it saves your family from facing probate. Spending a little time creating a detailed will now may save your loved ones months of time later.
Appointing an executor of your estate
Too often, new parents or younger parents think you need to have a stockpile of significant assets to create a will. This is simply not the case. Even if you don’t have a large collection of assets, it’s important to name an executor of your estate. This person will be responsible for dividing your assets to who you choose and paying off any debts you owe. The more trustworthy the person, the better. A good executor can lessen the strain on your family and make sure your wishes are carried out.
These are just a few of the reasons all parents should have at least a general will. As your estate grows or life changes, it’s smart to revise a will to reflect that. An estate planning attorney can help you create a personalized document that reflects your wishes. All parents should have a reliable guardian appointed for their children. Just in case.