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Are you a parent? You need to have a will and estate plan

If you're planning to have a baby, then you also need to have a will. The most important reason why relates to the unlikely event that you and the other parent die. A last will and testament will dictate who shall serve as the guardians of your children if you and the other parent of your child are no longer able.

In addition to indicating who will be the guardian of your child in the case of incapacitation or death, wills offer other important benefits to parents.

Other arguments for parents to write a will

Most people believe that wills are all about who receives what when you die. While this is certainly true -- and you can use your will to indicate how your assets shall be distributed -- parents will be most interested in a will because it allows them to select the guardian of their children.

Failing to create a will means that the court will decide who cares for your child. Imagine what could happen if your family members disagree on who should be the replacement guardian of your children after you die. Perhaps your mother and father want to take your child, but your spouse's family wants your child, too. This could result in a long legal battle, confusion and difficulty surrounding your child's care.

Wouldn't you rather select the most important people to be your child's guardians? With an appropriately drafted will, you can select your first choice, then second and third choices as backups in case your preferred choice is unable to fulfill his or her guardianship duties.

Personal and property guardians

In addition to a personal guardian of your child, you can select a property guardian for your child to ensure that your child's financial assets -- inherited from you -- are well taken care of. In many cases, parents choose different people to serve as personal and property guardians to ensure some oversight regarding (1) the way the property guardian cares for your child's money, and (2) the way the personal guardian spends that money.

Can you see the value in setting up a will as a parent?

Parents will have a lot of different estate planning options available to choose from. Selecting the most suitable estate planning strategies for your needs will be essential to your family's well-being in the event of your untimely or unexpected death.

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