Ask yourself this question, if something were to happen to you, who would you want to take care of your children? Your parents, your in-laws, one of your siblings? If you don’t establish a guardian in a Last Will, your state will choose who has guardianship over your children in a process called Interstate. If you have not already laid out your intentions in your will, your children will be subject to the state's plan.
If you don’t do this for any other reason, do it for them. At this point, it’s not about the things, it’s about what is best for your children and making sure your wishes are carried out.
Beyond The Assets
Aside from your assets (as addressed above), you also need to think about the other two elements that complete a Will/Estate plan: Last Will/Advance Directive and appointing your Power of Attorneys.
The Advance Directive/Living Will addresses exactly what you want to be done with your body and life in the event you can’t speak for yourself. Do you want to be on life support? Do you want artificial tube feeding? Do you want your doctor to pull the plug and die peacefully after X amount of day if you’re in a coma? Those are decisions you need to talk to your loved ones and doctor about. But even if you have the conversation, if you haven’t legally named someone to make that call for you in your Will, your family is going to have to go to a court and pay thousands of dollars to have a judge name a guardian for you. These are the documents that speak FOR you and determine what happens next.
That’s where the Powers of Attorney comes into play. This is the document that allows the said person to speak on behalf of you and inform your medical providers about your end-of-life decisions. Furthermore, this allows someone you trust to act on your behalf regarding your finances, bank accounts, savings accounts, real estate, etc.
Having an Advance Directive/Living Will and appointing your Power of Attorney’s in your Will addresses the following three excuses we often hear: