Wills Aren't Just for Old People- It's About Your Kids
By Ric Jones, Emergency Medical Services Supervisor, Dubuque Fire Department
No one spends much time thinking about dying, especially during young adulthood. Our lives are busy figuring out where to live, how to care for kids, how to afford the things we need, and what happened to free time? It’s pretty easy to get in the mindset that “I’ll take care of it when I’m older” or “Why do I need a will? I don’t have anything to pass on.” Wills just don’t stay on top of our minds.
The thing of it is, young adults die every day, and most of these deaths are sudden and unexpected. And it’s not just about your stuff. It’s about your kids.
Young parents need a will as badly as anyone. Even if you have more debts than assets, even if you are renting a place that isn’t quite your dream home, or even if your car barely runs – you need a will. Wills don’t just transfer your stuff; they allow you to determine who raises your kids if you are suddenly absent from the picture. That is the big one. Who do you want to raise your kids if it can’t be you?
Iowa has a plan to distribute your property if you don’t make a will, and the courts will appoint a guardian if you don’t. If that’s good enough for you, maybe you don’t need a will. But if you really think that you would like someone of your own choosing—whom you know and trust, who shares your values and already loves your kids—you can assure that person will be the one by naming him or her in your will as the guardian of your kids.
If you do have some money or other items of value, you can predetermine in your will who gets them and when. Often “trustees” are named in the will to manage these assets for minor children. You also can set a date when the grown child actually gets the balance of the assets
One other thing happens when you sign your will. You feel an enormous sense of relief. It really feels good to know that you’ve taken care of this needed task.
And it won’t break the bank. You should use an attorney licensed in your state. He or she will be happy to tell you up front how much it will cost and quite likely would help you set up a payment plan if you need one.