Do you have a Will? Do you have children? One of the survey’s most surprising findings was that just 36 percent of those with children under 18 have an end-of-life plan in place. This is a potentially devastating oversight.
There are two crucial reasons to have a Will when you have minor children. First, if you and your spouse both die, Wills are generally the only sure way to nominate a guardian to raise your children. If you fail to do this, family members can fight over who gets custody of your children, or perhaps even worse – maybe no one wants to take your children. Either way the outcome can be devastating for your children. Second, if both you and your spouse die and there is no trust set up in your Wills to provide for your children, a guardian will be appointed to oversee the assets of left for the child. One of the guardian’s duties is to preserve the assets for the child, so conceivably many normal expenditures for your children may not be made. Further, when the child turns 18, everything that is left is theirs with no strings attached. Many 18 year-olds, assuming they will one day be rich anyway, will likely spend their inheritance in a less than prudent manner.