Married with Young Children

  If you're married with young children, you and your spouse should each have your own will. For you, wills are vital because you can name a guardian for your minor children in case both of you die simultaneously. If you fail to name a guardian in your will, a court may appoint someone you might not have chosen. Furthermore, without a will, some states dictate that at your death some of your property goes to your children and not to your spouse. If minor children inherit directly, the surviving parent will need court permission to manage the money for them. Although a will does not avoid probate, you may use a will with revocable trusts. You may also want to consult an attorney about establishing a trust to manage your children's assets in the event that both you and your spouse die at the same time. You may also need life insurance. Your surviving spouse may not be able to support the family on his or her own and may need to replace your earnings to maintain the family.