I’m happy to report we’ve made some real progress with one of our big goals this year. Last week we consulted with a local attorney about getting our wills created and we discussed our wishes on estate planning and guardianship.
This is something that had to get done (and done right) and I’m a bit embarrassed that we took so long to get to it. Part of my problem was that I was worried about finding the perfect lawyer and used that as an excuse to not get this important stuff done.
With some encouragement from fellow personal finance bloggers, I consulted the NC bar site and used their referral service to find a specialist.
Getting Our Wishes Down for Our Wills
The appointment itself went pretty smoothly. It helped that my husband and I discussed some of our big wishes. That didn’t mean we had all the answers though. What is nice with working with a qualifying attorney is that you can sit down with them and go over different scenarios and they can explain all of your options.
We learned quite a bit about what a will can cover and what it can not. Basically a will:
- Name executor(s): Besides naming each other as executor, we also named back-ups should we both die. It’s an important decision and we listed people with whom we have complete trust. We also asked them if they’d be up for the task, which they said they would.
- Name guardians for our daughter: This by far was the most important part to us.
I learned that a will doesn’t cover some things, including the proceeds of our life insurance policies and IRAs that we’ve already named a beneficiary.
Much of the process was simply getting every thing down in writing. In case one of us dies, the other is formally named as the beneficiary. Should both of us die, we named beneficiaries the primary,of course, being our baby girl.
Naming Guardians for Our Little One
For us, naming the guardians for our little one was the biggest decision in this process. It was something we really discussed (you can click on the link above and see our thought process on picking a guardian) and make sure we and they were both happy with.
We’re happy that our first choice accepted and we wanted to make sure that our will reflected our intentions to help make the difficult transition a bit easier for everyone involved should both of us die. That meant leaving a small lump sum to take care of any financial expenses with the guardianship.
Thoughts on Wills, Guardianship, and Estate Planning
For those who are parents, how many of you have updated your will and financial planning for your little ones? How was the process for you? Did you go with a local attorney or did you do it yourselves?