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3 Reasons Every Parent Should Have a Will

Posted on Fri Jul 13, 2018, on Estate Planning

As a parent, you are always striving to look out for your children’s best interest.  Your children’s best interest includes a plan making sure they are well taken care of. But what happens if you’re no longer there to help guide them through life? Having an official will can help give guidance for the care and wellbeing of your children if you are no longer there to take care of them. If you don’t have a will in place, the State decides your children’s wellbeing. While the State will do, it’s best to act in the best interest of your children, having a will can help ensure that they receive the proper care as you deem right.

Top 3 reasons every parent should have a will

Below are the top 3 reasons to make sure you have a current and updated will. Anyone of us can pass unexpectedly. Parents of young children have the responsibility to ensure their children’s safety and wellbeing.  This includes securing potential assets that could help give them financial stability

First, Determination of Guardianship

To eliminate any ill-advised decisions the State may make, you should outline or appoint a guardian in you will. Deciding who would make the best parental figure in your absence requires a great deal of consideration. Essential factors to evaluate include finding someone who is or has:

  • Responsible
  • Supportive
  • Proximity to the child’s established life
  • Similar family values

These values are often difficult to quantify, making the guardianship decision a difficult one.  But work with your estate planning attorney to appoint at least one guardian. If you are lucky enough to know more than one responsible person who would act as Guardian, then name a backup Guardian.

Second, Financial Planning for Children

It is common that the child’s appointed Guardian is also responsible for maintaining any finances or property inheritances until your children come of age.  But, you can also designate someone else. Naming a second party creates checks-and-balances.  Often, the more eyes watching out for your children, the better.  The Guardian asks for funds and the trustee then decides if the request is reasonable.  There are other checks-and-balances you can add to your plan, such as Protectors. Work with your estate planning attorney to create a program that fits your family’s dynamic.

Third, Inheritance Determinations

Whether you divvy up your property evenly or unevenly between your children, being clear is very important. Financial security is one goal, but a well-drafted will can also help eliminate emotionally draining quarrels.  Know your children and take steps to sort out your belongings to avoid disputes.  Not being clear in your will can cause otherwise avoidable bad feelings.  In fact, a will might be necessary to exclude someone from your estate. Without a will, that person may be able to claim a portion of your estate.

Creating a will ensures your family’s well being after you’re gone.  Further, a will can eliminate confusion and extraneous emotional anguish in the wake of your passing.  Provide your heirs with clear and concise guidance regarding your children, your belongings, and your finances. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney to help you navigate the complexities of wills.  Create a unique plan that ensures your loved ones’ care.

If you’d like to set up or review your current estate plan, please contact us at 215-790-1095 or complete our online form to arrange a free consultation. 

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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