The Importance of Having a Will Even if You are Young, Especially with Children

November 5, 2012

Do you really need to conduct estate planning if you are only in your 30s, don't have many assets, and don't have a lot of money to spend on legal and planning services? Absolutely.

The specific costs of these planning efforts can always be arranged to meet your resources. And it is critical not to forget that the planning includes components that apply to all parites, regardless of how old they might be or how wealthy. For one thing, an elder law estate plan in New York includes preparations related to long-term health and extreme medical care wishes. Serious accidents affect community members of all ages, and it is critical to have legal documentation in place to explain how you'd like things handled in the event you are seriously incapacitated or disabled.

The need for these documents is even more paramount if children are involved. It goes without saying that parents usually devote their lives to ensuring their children are cared for, protected, and secure in their future. Yet far too many young mothers and fathers forget to take a simple step to prolonged that security indefinitely--use legal documents to identify child care issues in the event of their passing. There is no way to completely prepare for the death of young parents on a child. Yet, dealing with the tragedy is always made a bit easier when the parent or parents had taken some time to identify clear successor guardian wishes in the event of their own death or disability. It is critical that all parents--no matter how old--have very clear plans in place for alternative caregiving.

Informal plans, however, are often of little use. Telling a relative or a friend that you'd lke them to take care of your child in the event of a tragedy is nowhere near enough. There has to be actual legal effect to one's wishes, otherwise, the long-term care of your child may be left to decisions made by the court and agents of the court who have no personal connection to you or your family. It is critical for guardian identification's to be made in a legal document, like a last will and testament, that will affect how the court handles these matters.

Many young parents assume that there is no need for this legal planning because there is an obvious choice for alternative guardian and the court will clearly see things that way. However, one of the most important lessons shared by estate planning attorneys is the fact that relationships are often frayed in the aftermath of a death. While it may not seem like a possibility now, in the aftermath of your death different family members may begin feuding over the guardianship of your child. This fighting will obviously leave real scars on family relationships and will have serious impacts on the child's long-term living. Taking away this uncertainty and doubt should be a high priority for all parents, and it is only fully accomplished as part of an estate plan that puts legal effects to your wishes no matter what the future holds.

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