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Why should new parents make a will?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | Estate Planning, Wills

The thought of leaving your minor child vulnerable should you unexpectedly pass away must be compelling reason enough for you, or any other new parent, to make a will.

A will is a legally binding document functioning as a safety net, allowing you to decide your affairs along your terms instead of placing them in the court’s hands. Although the state generally decides based on your child’s interests, there is still no fixed assurance of how this may look in actual legal practice.

Entering your new parent phase is the optimal time to draft a will. 

Why do you need it now?

It seems untimely to dive deep into details about what happens when fatal circumstances befall your family, especially when you just welcomed your newborn. But if you and your spouse end up in a deadly accident, is your child’s future secure or are they about to grow orphaned with nothing under their name? Here are reasons why making a will is for your child’s protection:

  • You can name your preferred guardian: This person is responsible for raising your child. Thus, choosing someone you confidently trust is critical to provide your child with a safe and stable environment. Appointing an alternate guardian is also wise when the original guardian cannot perform their duties due to incapacitation or death.
  • You can designate a trusted person for your minor child’s inheritance: Like a property guardian, this person manages your child’s inheritance until they enter adulthood.
  • You can assign an executor to administer the proper execution of your will: If you have a surviving spouse, you can distribute your estate among them and your child. The executor, or personal representative, handles property management and distribution to prevent potentially emotional disagreements.

Alternatively, you may also establish a revocable living trust, and name your child as a beneficiary. As another estate planning device, this allows you to create modifications on your assets during your lifetime. Then, you can name a successor trustee to take over its supervision when you pass on.

Additionally, unlike a few states, Arkansas does not impose an inheritance tax, so this is not an additional burden for your child.

Your peace, their protection

You cannot control when something traumatic could possibly hit you. However, within your control is making adequate preparation for your family’s circumstances even after you’re gone. Instead of trying to understand confusing legalese by yourself, eventually wasting precious time and resources, a legal team can help sort your affairs into exactly the organization you intend them to be.