As parents, our top priority is always the well-being and future of our children. And while we may not like to think about it, there may come a time where we are no longer around to provide for them. This is where a legal will comes in – giving us the power to dictate how our assets and affairs are managed after our passing.

When creating a will as a parent, simply dividing your possessions among your children is not enough. A child-focused legal will takes into account specific needs and considerations for children to ensure their best interests are protected. Read on to learn more!

Guardianship Designation

One of the most crucial steps in creating a comprehensive, child-focused legal will is to designate a guardian for your minor children. This decision entails selecting an individual or couple you trust to raise your children in a manner closely aligned with your own values and beliefs, should you be unable to do so yourself. It is not a choice to be made lightly as this person will have a significant impact on your children’s upbringing, including their education, health, and general welfare. You want a specialized lawyer who can organise a legal will with your children’s future in mind, and take the time to discuss potential guardians with your partner, family, or a trusted advisor to ensure your children are cared for by someone who truly understands your wishes and can act in the best interest of your children. No matter how much we plan, the unexpected can happen, and having this provision in place might be the most important thing you can do for your children.

Trusts for Children

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to appoint a trustee to manage any assets, funds, or property you leave behind for your children until they reach a responsible age. But it doesn’t stop there: it can also stipulate how the funds should be used, such as for education, healthcare, or general welfare. Even if you’re no longer around to provide for your kids, the trust you established will continue to look after their needs.

Opting for a trust rather than gifting funds outright to your children also protects their inheritance from creditors, lawsuits and even a future divorce. It can also prevent them from squandering their inheritance before they are mature enough to handle it responsibly. Working with an experienced attorney will ensure that your trust is tailored to meet the needs of your specific family situation.

Life Insurance Policies

Adding a life insurance policy to your child-focused legal will can provide an additional layer of financial protection for your children. If something were to happen to you, the proceeds from the policy could go towards supporting your needs and expenses until you reach adulthood. Even if you have life insurance through your employer, it’s still a good idea to have a personal policy in place that specifically names your children as beneficiaries.

Don’t forget to revisit your life insurance policy periodically and update the beneficiaries as needed. As your children grow and circumstances change, you must ensure that they will still be provided for in case of your passing.

Letter of Intent

Though it is not legally binding, the letter of intent is a document that is included in your child-focused legal will. This letter outlines your wishes and intentions for your children’s upbringing: specific instructions or preferences, values you want instilled in them, and any other important details that may not be covered by your will.

The letter of intent serves as a guide for the guardians you have designated and can help them understand your desires for your children’s future. It is also an opportunity to express your love, hopes, and dreams for your children in a more personal way.

Power of Attorney Designations

In addition to guardianship and financial preparations, establishing a Power of Attorney (POA) is a critical component of a child-focused legal will. This grants a trusted individual the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of your children, particularly in areas where decisions might be needed promptly and you are not able to do so.

POA can cover decisions related to finance, health, and any legal matters, ensuring that your children’s needs and interests are catered to without delay. Choosing someone reliable and in alignment with your parental philosophies is a must because this person will act in your stead.

Creating a child-focused legal will is more than just a legal obligation; it is a profound act of love and care, ensuring that your children’s future is secure in the face of uncertainty. By taking these steps, you are not leaving anything to chance. Instead, you’re providing a comprehensive safety net that covers every aspect of your children’s welfare after you’re gone. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your children are cared for, according to your wishes, is invaluable.