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The Importance of Writing a Will

The Importance of Writing a Will

Having a baby is a joyous event, and not one that you associate with dying! But, if something happens to you and your spouse, you want to make sure that your baby is taken care of both financially and emotionally. You don't want a lengthy court case over custody, or your child waiting until legal and financial documents are sorted out. If you write a will, your child will be covered should anything happen to you.

The most important consideration is who will be the legal guardian of your child. It may be quite simple a sister or brother, the baby's godmother, or it could be difficult. You need to know that the individual or couple is financially prepared to cover the costs of raising a child, as well as being able to provide the time and energy it takes to be a parent.

Some families choose one trustee to take care of money, which can take care of the child financially and deal with any trust funds once the child is older. They appoint another person or couple to be the child's legal guardian and take on all the parenting responsibilities. The executor of your will is the person who carries out your wishes and makes sure that they are followed after your death. You should leave a detailed letter with your will if you have special instructions for your funeral, how your child is raised, or what religious beliefs you want them to follow.

A number of couples set up a trust for their children in the event of their death, especially if they will be inheriting property or life insurance assets that could amount to a great deal. Also, this prevents mishandling of money while the child is younger; once they reach 18 or 21 years of age they take control of the entire amount.

The next step is to figure out your financial worth. You'll need to add up assets such as your home, car and retirement savings, and then subtract liabilities like loans and credit card debt. It's a good idea to double check your life insurance or 401k policy, because if you name another person as your beneficiary they could receive money when you're gone. Many people change their minds or appoint different beneficiaries throughout the years, so keep track of who you've added to legal forms.

It's perfectly fine to get a do-it-yourself will kit from a site like or if you don't have a lot of assets or complicated liabilities. If your situation is more complicated, however, you should hire a legal professional to help you handle the details of your will.


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