DO I NEED A WILL TO PROTECT MY MINOR CHILDREN
Aug. 23, 2022
Many relatively young people do not want to think about wills. It raises the eerie question of one’s potential untimely death. Moreover, many young parents do not have that many assets, or think they don’t, so one might think that it is unnecessary to set out a document distributing their worldly possessions.
In fact, a will is a useful document for the simple fact that everyone’s life, and everyone’s family dynamic, is unique. A will is useful for purposes other than merely doling out your possessions, even major possessions. And for parents of minor children, a will is a device to ensure that your children will be taken care of in the event of your death.
In your will, you can name a guardian for your children. This is perhaps the most important aspect of any estate planning when it comes to parents of young children. If you do not choose a guardian ahead of time, the court will choose one for you, after you die. This may not be a trusted and loved relative or friend. Your children could be stuck with someone you yourself would not have chosen for them.
You also should not automatically assume that you have no valuable assets that need to be distributed. Even a vehicle or a small house could be a valuable asset. In this way, the will can act as a device to distribute assets that you could not otherwise transfer or designate during your life. For assets like a bank account or insurance policy, you generally are able to designate a beneficiary during your life and do not need a will. The will can be a “catch-all” device to distribute any assets that could not otherwise be distributed but still are “valuable enough” for you to want to provide a legal framework.
How an Attorney Can Help
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Bring them to the library. Kids don’t have to view libraries as boring places. Your lead can help. You can start by helping them get a library card, something that will make them feel grown-up. You can show them books that they’ll find interesting – let them choose. And you can take them to programs at the library for kids their age so they’ll see it’s a fun place.