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The thought of leaving your children behind when you die is devastating. There comes a time in every parent’s life when they have to consider how their children will survive once they die. It took me a while to realise the importance of making a will for my family. I think I was avoiding the chore as it is just so morbid. The point is that you can't put off something as vital as making a will. If the worst should happen (and we all hope, it doesn't for many years) you need to make sure that your children are safe.
If you have been putting off making a will then, it is time to start. I promise you this job is not as difficult as it first sounds. After you have done it, you will feel a million times better. Here is a quick guide to writing a will.
Step 1: Talk To Your Partner
The first step is to talk to your partner about your will. Make sure you approach the subject at the right time, i.e. not when he is watching a film or the two of you are having an argument. Sit down and have a frank conversation about death. There is no point in dancing around the subject, and you and your family need security. Tell your partner what you plan to put in your will and see if he agrees. Your will may impact your partner one day so if you are both clear from the start there will be no big surprises for either of you.
Step 2: Decide What You Want To Leave Your Children
It is likely that you will want to leave your children things in your will. Including your children within your last will and testament is a sign of respect to them. Don't neglect them from your will, even if you think that their father will provide for them. Your children deserve a mention in your will, so ensure that you do include them. Decide what you have to leave them. You don't have to leave them a big lump sum; you could just leave your children a trinket, such as a watch or a ring. Whatever you leave your children make sure you explain your reasoning behind the decision to your partner.
Step 3: Decide Who Should Take Care Of Your Children
In the worst case scenario who will look after your children? If both you and your partner should die, who is next in line? You should appoint a guardian for your children, who you trust would be able to look after them well. Taking on someone else's children is a huge deal. Talk to the person you are appointing and make sure that they agree to this massive responsibility.
Step 4: Find A Professional Company
The best way to write your will is to have a professional company, such as Craige Brawley Liipfert & Walker LLP, help you. Navigating the law and ensuring that your will is binding is important. Having an expert take you through the steps and show you how to write your will means that you can be sure that you have got it right. Make an appointment with a lawyer to ensure that you understand the process before you begin.
Step 5: Store Your Will In A Safe Place
You need to have many copies of your will once you have written it. For example, I gave a copy to my employer and kept one myself. You need to make sure that if the worst should happen people will know where to find the document. Give a copy of your will to your partner, your employer and your close family. If everybody has a copy of your will, there will be no ambiguity when the time comes to read it.
Step 6: Write Your Last Letter
Writing your final letter is one of the most emotional things you will ever have to do. One letter can't express the depth of feeling you have for your family, yet you are going to have to try and do your best. Write a letter to your partner, your close family members and your children. Ensure that you write down all your feelings and give the reader a happy note on which to end the letter. Your family will read the letter hoping for closure on your death, so try and give them that. Tell them that you love them and that you want them to live happy lives even though you are no longer here.