I read a book recently called The Middle Place. It’s a beautiful and touching memoir written by Kelly Corrigan, a young mother with two small children who was diagnosed with breast cancer.
This book resonated with me on so many levels. As a mother, I imagined myself having to endure the shock, fear, uncertainty and treatment she did while continuing to parent my children. As the child of a breast cancer survivor, it reminded me that serious illness, incapacity, and even death are not something that happens just to other people. All of us are at risk.
Young couples deciding to start their families usually have an idea about how many children they would like to have. And if they have a child but anticipate having more children, they sometimes procrastinate on getting their estate plans in order.
They reason that time is on their side, and that illness, incapacity, and death is something people much older have to deal with. And they worry that if they go through the process before their family is complete, they may have to go through additional time and expense when new children are born.
But illness and tragedy can strike at any age. And if you die without a will, you forfeit the opportunity to make many important decisions, such as who will raise your children and manage the assets you leave behind, to a judge who doesn’t know you, your kids, or what’s important to you.
If you are concerned about including additional children in your estate planning, it is possible to state in your Last Will and Testament that you wish to include all children hereafter born to or adopted by you. If you choose to later amend your will to name a new child, the costs involved are very minimal.
So don’t procrastinate another minute. Plans for more children should not keep you from protecting the ones you have.