There are so many big decisions to make when you become a parent. The sense of responsibility to provide for this new life in your care can be overwhelming. From providing them a happy and safe home to choosing the right schools, it all matters.
But perhaps the biggest decision, and most important, is having a back-up plan for them should you not always be around.
Preparing for the unthinkable
The best way to safeguard your children’s future is to appoint a guardian for their care in your will. As much as it pains us to think of not being around to see them grow, it’s up to us to ensure they have the best shot at life, with or without us.
I get a lump in my throat when I think about not being there to see my son on his first day of kindergarten. I want to see the joy on his face when the training wheels come off! I want to be cheering from the sidelines as he takes to the sports field.
But that lump is nothing compared to the fear I have wondering – if he lost me and his dad for some reason, who would be there to give him what he needs?
Like most parents, I want my son to have every opportunity for a bright future and a happy life regardless of whether I can be a part of it.
Taking the first step
Parents can take a step towards securing their child’s future by clearly stating their wishes in a legal will.
If you’re like me, the idea of writing a will feels ominous. It’s easy for us to avoid it but it can truly could be the most important thing you can do to secure your child’s future.
It’s even something that can be done at home with the State Trustees Legal Will Kit, which offers a simple step-by-step guide to walk you through it all. This kit covers everything from appointing an executor, choosing beneficiaries, specifying gifts and most importantly, nominating guardians for your children aged under 18.
Just undertaking the process of writing a will give you a way to start having important conversations with family and friends.
You might be surprised at the people who assume they would be the ones to step in for you, when you had someone completely different in mind. By having these conversations and a clearly written out will, you can eliminate any confusion should the unthinkable happen.
As parents we leave very few things to chance if we can help it, and this is no different. Even if your children are blessed with many who would gladly take them in, you don’t want to create a situation of conflict among those already grieving your loss.
Beyond the division of your possessions, a will makes your wishes for your children very clear. It wasn’t until my husband and I started talking that we realised the guardians we would choose for our son were probably not who our family and friends would have imagined.
With another baby on the way, planning for the unthinkable has actually given me great peace of mind.
Wishes made clear
Having a will provides a clear direction forward at an emotional time – perhaps one of the greatest gifts you can leave behind for your children. Whether it be a fair division of heirlooms and other possessions, or ensuring any assets or money you have go towards giving your children some financial security, a will takes away any uncertainty.
It can ensure your children get the future you dreamed of giving them.
(This is a sponsored post for the State Trustees)