Since the moment you first found out you were pregnant, you and your husband have been focusing on the miracle of life. However, this is no time to ignore that death is a fact of life, too. 

New parents need a will. Expectant couples may begin the process even before the birth. It does not need to be difficult or depressing. In fact, creating a will is another way to care for your child and prepare for the future. 

What does a will do? 

A will serves three important functions for parents. First, it allows you to designate a guardian for your child. Without a will, the courts can choose who will raise him or her. Second, a will allows you to name an executor for your estate. This is especially important in the case of minor children who may not be responsible enough to handle money right away. Third, a will allows you to specify your own funeral arrangements. 

Why should I prepare a will? 

By creating a will, you relieve your family members of a huge burden. They will not have to make difficult decisions because you will have already made them. Carrying out your wishes can ease your loved ones’ pain. 

Another important reason to prepare a will is to prevent arguments or confusion about your estate. Grief sometimes does strange things to people; you do not want people quarreling over who will manage your estate or take care of your children. 

How do I get started? 

Begin with a list of potential guardians for your child. This is a difficult decision, and it is crucial that you and your partner are comfortable with the choice. Next, ask permission. Agreeing to be the guardian of someone else’s child is an intensely personal decision. Then, take a quick inventory of your estate. Include cash accounts, investments, property and items of value. 

Once you know who and what to include, you are ready to begin drafting this all-important document.