As a new parent, you prepared for the arrival of your child in many practical ways, such as buying diapers and opening a college fund. Now, prepare a will.

You may not feel ready to think about estate planning at such a young age. Yet for new parents, thinking of the future is crucial. Creating a last will and testament is a way to take care of your children after you are gone. What can a will do for you and your family?

Name a guardian for the children

If you and your spouse die at the same time, do you want a judge deciding who takes care of your children? If not, name a guardian in your will. Choose someone who already knows and loves your children. A caring, familiar adult can help your children deal with their grief and loss.

Divide your possessions

Your will states who inherits your estate, or the assets you leave behind. If you die without a will, the court distributes your possessions. A judge divides your estate according to an established formula which likely does not reflect your wishes.

Be sure your will includes family heirlooms that may have low monetary value but high sentimental value. One child may cherish an ancestor’s war medals while another child may prize family jewelry.

Designate an executor

The executor is the person who carries out the wishes laid out in your will. You can choose a family member or trusted family friend. However, to reduce conflict among family members you may prefer a professional, such as an attorney, to serve as executor.

You may not want to think about your death, but you do want to take care of your children. Creating a will can help safeguard their future.