Posted By Larry Tolchinsky on October 14, 2014
Congratulations if you are reading this post because you are expecting a child or if you are a new parent. There are few joys in life as great as raising a child! Congratulations, too, on investigating how to protect your family in the event of an untimely passing on the part of you or your spouse.
Here are 10 reasons why a Last Will and Testament is especially important for new and expectant parents:
By doing some estate planning now, you can establish pre-need guardians for your child and family. These are people you trust to be either their financial guardian and/or their guardian of the person. One person can undertake both roles (like a parent does) or different people can act here, splitting up the money decisions from the day to day responsibilities.
2. Unmarried Parents.
Not every child is born to parents with a marriage license. If mom and dad are not married, then having a will set up will protect the baby in the event one of those parents passes away. When parents are not married, without a Florida will, the family home as well as savings, etc., may not pass under Florida law to a live-in partner to care for the child(ren). Florida “intestacy” laws will apply.
In today’s modern families, often there are blending situations where step-parents are doing their estate planning. In a Florida will, these parents can look after the interests of step-children, including appointing guardians for them (see above).
4. Transfer of Property Between the Couple.
Under Florida intestacy laws, if one parents dies, some of their property might not go to their surviving spouse, but directly to their children. This might not be best for the family and preparing a will protects everyone here.
5. Heirlooms and Treasures.
Often, there are specific pieces of property that parents wish a particular child to have. The grandmother’s engagement ring to their daughter, the father’s pocket watch to the son. With a will, specific assets such as jewelry, collectibles, letters or vacation properties that you want to leave to a specific child can be accomplished through specific bequests.
6. Education Decisions.
If you should die before your child reaches adulthood, how do you want my children to be educated? Planning for your child’s schooling can be done through your Last Will and Testament: your estate can pay for a tutor to continue their homeschooling, for instance. If your kids are in private school, a portion of your estate can cover their tuition.
7. Paying for College.
You can plan within your will for part of your estate to be held in trust for college tuition or other post secondary education.
8. Special Needs Child.
Special needs children face unique challenges and you can protect them with a Special Needs Trust, which can protect future government benefits for which they may be eligible as well as insuring they will have the ability to pay for medical care.
Children have the right to a childhood, and your estate planning can protect that time of innocence. If they are to inherit a substantial amount of property or cash, for instance, you can decide in your will both how and when your children receive their inheritance.
10. Protecting Them From Themselves.
If your family has a history of addiction issues, you can try to keep your children free from drugs, gambling, etc. by adding a provision to your Last Will and Testament that prevents them from inheriting or delays inheritance if they are exhibiting addictive behavior, such as using drugs or gambling.