When I was growing up, I remember my mother saying more than once, that death doesn’t only come for old people. When I was a young adult, I knew intellectually that I wasn’t really invincible, but I still felt that way. I had tremendous energy, felt strong and very confident that I would always be able to care for and protect my children.
In college psychology classes, I learned about young people’s “personal fable” in which many of us believe that we are special, and that life’s adversities and calamities won’t affect us. But as we grow older or take on the responsibility of marriage and children, we discover that we might, after all, be vulnerable to life’s uncertainties and adversities.
Most young people with children don’t think they need a will because they haven’t really accumulated any stuff to leave their heirs, they certainly don’t have an “estate” in the sense that most people define what that means. In a sense, they may be right. They may have very few assets and only personal belongings. But in fact, many young couples have something far more important than “stuff” whose interests should be protected by a Last Will and Testament, they have minor children.
It is critical to understand that if both natural parents pass away without a properly executed valid will, then the court system will choose their children’s guardian. Although selecting a guardian for your children in the event of you and your spouse’s death can be an emotionally trying process, consider the alternative.
Without a designated guardian for your children family members may be forced to engage in costly litigation and ultimately a judge, who knows very little about you or your children, will decide who will be awarded guardianship of your children until they reach the age of majority or are otherwise emancipated.
Don’t take the risk of leaving your children’s future in the hands of others in the event you and your spouse pass away while they are still under the age of 18. Have a will professionally prepared to protect the most valuable asset you will ever have, your children.
Steve Buitron, Esq.