We are going to die sooner or later, but if it is sooner rather than later what have you got in place for your kids to ensure that they are looked after? Yes this is not something any of us want to think about but its best to have everything sorted out just in case the worst happens. It will be bad enough for your children having one or both parents die when they are young, but if there is nowhere for them to go and no money to look after them that will be so much worse.
Here are some basic things that you should have in place for just in case you die while your kids are young:
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is a document that specifies exactly what happens when you die – what happens to everything you own, who will be the legal guardians of your children and it also names the executive of your estate (the person that sorts out your estate).
It will be a good idea for parents to discuss and agree who they would like to look after their children should they die and also discuss it with the person they have chosen. This is not a small decision to make so it can’t be taken lightly.
It is a great idea to have a professional assist you with drafting your last will and testament. Yes it may cost more to do this, but it will ensure that everything is done 100% by the book and it is legal and binding. The whole point of this is to ensure that your children are looked after when you are gone, so make sure that this is done properly.
Make sure all your paperwork is in order and easily accessible for the executor of your estate. The executor of your estate should know where to find all your important documentation, bank accounts, trusts, property deeds and everything else that he or she will need to finalize your estate. This includes all your digital information – login in details and passwords.
To make the funeral process easier you can let your family know what your preferences are.
Finances For Your Children
It’s all good and well to write out a will leaving everything you have to your children but what if you have no money and no assets? Is there enough money to take care of your children if you had to die right now?
In this case it would be wise to take out life insurance to ensure that no matter what happens your children will have enough money to cover their education and living expenses. Even if you do have some assets to leave your children it is a great idea to get a life insurance policy.
The cost of education is sky high and the cost of living is going up all the time. Make sure that you do everything you can to ensure that your kids don’t have to worry about money if you are gone.
Depending on the circumstances of your death and the country of your death your children may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation. Make sure the person that is the executor of your estate will take care of any of these details for your children.
Your Children’s Upbringing
Your last will and testament will name your chosen legal guardians for your children. However you may have certain wishes that you want that guardian to carry out for you with regarding to the upbringing of your children.
This may relate to the education of your children, the values that are important to you and religion.
Where do you want your children to go to school, do you want your kids to have further education after school?
Are you for or against vaccinating your kids?
Do you want your children to attend church or are you an atheist that is against your children going to church?
Make sure that you have discussed these things with your chosen legal guardians to ensure that they are able to and willing to carry out your wishes for bringing up your children.
There are plenty of things that you will need to get in order before you die to make it easier for the executive of your estate to wind up all your affairs but with regards to having your young children taken care of these are the essentials that you need to think about.
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Also published on Medium.