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Drafting a Will Should be on All New Parents' To-Do Lists


Many New Yorkers would agree that becoming a parent for the first time is a joyous event. However, it is also a frightening time as well. There are so many things to think about, like diapers, immunizations, clothing, daycare and feeding. The list goes on and on. Despite adding one more thing to the list, all new parents should prioritize thinking about drafting a will after the birth of a child.

Many first-time parents are in their 20s and 30s and at that time of their lives, drafting a will is often the last thing on their minds. However, there is nothing in life that is certain. Disability, a serious illness or even death can strike anyone at any time. Who would care for the child after the death of both parents? Creating a will can help insure that the child has a guardian to care for him or her should the unthinkable happen.

Many parents put off creating a will because they cannot choose a guardian. Choosing a person to care for a child can sometimes be a difficult decision. If the parents have no siblings or parents to pick as a guardian, then they may be left with the decision of choosing a non-family member, such as a close friend, to care for the child. It is wise for new parents to at least choose a temporary guardian. They always have the ability to change their minds later, especially as circumstances change.

A will is a critical document chosen by people whose main goal is protecting their family. Although death can be a difficult subject to broach, ignoring it can cause a family more harm than good. If both parents die without a will, the child could wind up living with a guardian who may not have the child's best interests in mind.

Source: The New York Times, "For Parents-to-Be, a Few Financial and Legal Tips," Tara Siegel Bernard, March 8, 2013