3 minute read

When to Create a Will: Have a Baby, Adopted, or Have a New Stepchild

Putting a Will together after bringing a new child into your life is an important parenting step that you don’t want to skip. Keep reading to learn more!

So, your family is growing? Congratulations! Adding a child to the family—whether that be from having a baby, adopting a child, or gaining a stepchild—is an incredibly exciting time in your life. The love you have for your new child and the desire to protect them from harm’s way is immense. Unfortunately, you can never truly know what unexpected events might occur in life that will affect your child. However, you can do your best to plan for them by creating a Will. 

Trust & Will, a leader in online estate planning services, knows how important it is to do your best to protect your child from any unnecessary burdens in their life. Although you cannot protect them from the grief of losing a parent, you can do your best to prevent any unnecessary stress in their life by creating a Will. It can be hard to know when to start estate planning and what exactly that entails, which is why we will be covering everything you need to know in this article.

Keep reading to learn the following:

What is a Will?

Before we discuss when to create a Will, it is important to understand what a Will is and what its function will be within your Estate Plan. In its essence, a Will is a legal document that details who you want to leave your assets to once you pass away. These assets can include anything from clothing, to bank accounts, property, houses, and much more. The person that you choose to leave your assets to is known as your Beneficiary. You can choose to leave your assets to whomever you choose and as many people as you feel is appropriate. Your Will is also the document that allows you to leave inheritance to your children.

What are the benefits of creating a Will with a new child?

A Will is beneficial because it allows you the ability to control who your assets end up going to after you pass away. Having a Will can help you protect your children, as you will be able to leave them sufficient funds in the event that you pass away unexpectedly. Additionally, not only can having a Will give you comfort knowing that you will be able to choose who your assets end up with, but it can also alleviate stress on your children and loved ones. 

If you do not create a Will, it will be up to your family and the court to decide who should receive your assets after you pass away. This can be difficult for your children and other family members, as they are already struggling with finding adequate time to grieve their loss. Furthermore, not having a Will opens up the potential for arguments to arise as your children and loved ones struggle to decide what you would have wanted and who should receive what. The possibility of unnecessary family arguments can be alleviated by you taking the time to create a Will that designates where your assets should end up.

Finally, creating a Will can help your children as it can shorten the probate process for your family. The probate court process is where all of your assets and wishes within your Will are settled. If you already have a Will created, this can help shorten the process and save your children time and legal expenses. Without a Will, it is likely the probate court process will be much more drawn out. 

When should I create a Will when I have a baby, adopt, or have a new stepchild?

The short answer is you should create a Will now. You do not want to put off creating a Will, only to have it be too late due to an unexpected tragic accident. By creating a Will now, you are able to protect your children by ensuring you have left them sufficient funds. For example, you may choose to leave them your life insurance if both you and your spouse dies. Additionally, you will want to name a legal guardian within your Will and create Nomination of Guardianship documents to ensure that someone you know and trust will be able to take care of them in your absence.

What should I be thinking about regarding my children when creating a Will?

When creating your Will with your children in mind, it will be important to consider a few factors. If your children are particularly young, for instance,  or you just had a baby, you will want to consider how much money to leave them. For example, are you going to ensure that your life insurance goes to your children if both you and your spouse pass away?

If your stepchildren or adopted children are a bit older, you may want to start thinking about what items in your home mean the most to each of your children and consider leaving that item to them in your Will. For example, is there a specific necklace that one of your children has become attached to and hopes to one day inherit? It may be important to you to make sure they receive that item when you pass away, and the best way to ensure this is to put it in your Will. 

You will also want to begin considering who you want to retain guardianship of your minor children and make sure that you have it written down in a legal document to ensure their protection and safety.

As a new parent, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all of the new responsibilities and worries you may have when it comes to wanting to lovingly protect your children in every way.  By creating an Estate Plan now through Trust & Will, you can help ease these worries and know that you have a comprehensive plan in place even if something unexpected happens up the road.

Don’t waste any more time. Get started today and create a fully customizable, state-specific plan in just 20 minutes!