Did you know that more than half of all parents do not have a will? If you were to ask parents who do not have wills whether they don’t have one because they are completely okay with how the state would dictate that their children would be cared for and how their property would be distributed, you would likely be met with a blank stare. While that is what would happen if you were to die without having executed a will, many people who do not have wills don’t realize that, or they don’t even know what the state’s laws say regarding what would become of their children or their possessions if they died without a will.
If that’s not the reason why many parents don’t have wills, then what is? One of the main reasons is that people don’t like to think about dying, and parents, especially do not like to think about the possibility that they could die before their children are adults. It is understandable to want to avoid thinking and talking about death, but it is also important that parents realize that the discomfort that may accompany the process of making a will lasts for only a short time. Once you do it, it’s done, and you can live with the peace of mind knowing that you, not the laws of the state, have decided who will care for your children and how your property will be distributed and managed when you pass away.
Another reason why parents do not like to think about making wills is that they may not want to talk about who could raise their children in their absence. There may be multiple possible options, and making a choice might be difficult and could lead to uncomfortable discussions. Conversely, there may be no great prospects, which can be equally difficult to admit. The people whom you would most trust to raise your children may not even be related to you; they may be close friends of your family. Again, as uncomfortable as these conversations may be, the discomfort is temporary and will give way to peace of mind once you have made your will.
The provisions of state intestacy law provide a one-size-fits-all solution for something that is in no way uniform. The families of today are a diverse group, ranging from the traditional married couple with children to unmarried couples with children, divorced parents raising children together, blended families, and more. Since your family is unique, it is essential that you make a will that expresses your wishes for your kids and your assets so that the people who would be caring for your children have financial support in doing so.
Another reason that parents need wills is that a will can ensure that the care of their children is continuous, not a matter for debate or a situation in which they could spend time in multiple homes while mourning the loss of their parents and wondering where they will end up. When parents make a will that specifies who will raise their children, if they die before the children are adults, the people named in the will could provide care right away, giving them much needed support, comfort, and security during a tough time in their lives.
If you have children and you have decided that it is time to make a will, call Kansas Estate Planning Attorney Thomas McDowell at (316) 633-4322 today, to arrange an initial consultation.