AARP: Every parent needs a will, but many lack one

By Consumer Reports

According to an AARP survey, 2 out of 5 Americans over the age of 45 don’t have a will.

If you’re an expecting or brand-new parent and don’t have a will, it’s crucial to make one. That’s because just like life and disability insurance, a will can offer protection to your dependents if something happens to you.

A well-written will allows your estate to be distributed legally and efficiently, costing your beneficiaries the least money and heartache. A will also serves the critical function of naming your child’s guardian in the event that you and your child’s other parent die.

You and your spouse should have wills. If you are part of an unmarried couple with a child, having wills is all the more important in ensuring that your estate is distributed the way you would want it to be.

In addition to a will, same-sex couples who are rearing children should complete a second-parent adoption, a legal process in which the partner of the legal or biological parent adopts the child, giving both parties the same rights.

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