When I was younger, way before I was a parent, everyone told me that having children would change everything.
Back then I still thought I was different from anyone else. I thought children will not change me. I thought that I will never be one of those mums that can’t talk about anything except her little baby girl or boy. I would never forget about hair-care and eating “adult” food.
I was wrong and right at the same time.
When I finally decided to have children, everything changed for me but not in the way that you would imagine.
You know how something doesn’t exist until someone points it out to you and then you start seeing it everywhere? This happened to me when I first became a mum.
I didn’t quite change my lifestyle (As I had promised myself), I just joined a few mummy groups and this is what I heard at one of the playdates:
“If you don’t have a will, it’s like letting your child out of the house alone and never going back to check what’s up with it! Do you know what horrors my cousin lived after her husband passed away and left them without a will…”
This was the first time I’d heard anyone mention a will. I thought I am too young to have a will! But now, I was a mother.
I didn’t realise what an enormous responsibility I had – I was everything for my child and if something happened to me it would be left all alone, unprotected, on the mercy of the state. This wasn’t good enough for my child.
After then it just started coming at me like an avalanche – I was hearing horrifying stories of children left with nothing and taken care of by unknown relatives because of the lack of the parents’ will.
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For example, I heard of a family being totally broke after the father passed away in a car accident. The couple wasn’t married and the ex-wife and children from previous marriage were entitled to much more than the current partner would have imagined.
Then a friend of mine shared that she once had to do months in courts after her parents died to access their assets because they didn’t have a will and there were complex family relations at stake.
And my landlady told me the story of how she had to fight to see her grandchildren in court after their mother had to be put on life-support after a tragic accident. And she was like a second mum to them.
I couldn’t imagine the additional trauma that courts and lawsuits would impose on such a sensitive situation like losing a parent.
Then I decided that I never want to be the reason for such hardship for my children. I knew that leaving them would be difficult enough for them. I was certain that a will isn’t a last wish on your deathbed but an insurance against the insecurities of life.
And when you become a parent, they seem to become much more.
I didn’t think of death as the end of my life anymore. I only thought of it as the beginning of a life for my children in when I won’t be there to protect them. My only desire was to be able to stretch a helping hand from where I am now to where they will be in the future, when I am not around. And a will was a way to do that.
Death for a parent is more frightening than for anyone else. You don’t only worry where you are going but what you leave behind. After drafting a will, I have a deal with myself – even if I am gone, my most important job will get done.
Want to protect your children? Get a will drafted as soon as possible if you don’t want the courts to decide the fate of your child.
Your trusted family lawyer can help you choose a guardian and draft a will that will put your mind at peace.
Do you have a will to protect your family? Please share in the comments below.