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Do parents need a will? Yes, and sooner is better.

When you have kids, life gets busy. Things that you want to do but don't seem necessary often get pushed to the back burner while you deal with more pressing matters.

The truth of the matter is that as a parent, you put your kids first. Picking them up from soccer practice on time can take precedence over that after-work Spanish class you were interested in.

While some things can wait with little consequence, others should be treated as priorities - like drafting a will.

How a will can protect your children

Thinking about creating a will is not always pleasant. As a parent, however, you need to know that writing a will establishes important protections for your children.

1. First, a will allows you to designate a guardian for your children. What it really boils down to is this: Do you want to decide who will take care of your kids if something happens to you, or do you want the state of Florida to decide.

Without a guardianship designation, the court will choose who to appoint as guardian of your children. Often it will be a family member, but it might not be the one you would have chosen. To make sure your children are in the right hands, you need to have a will.   

2. Second, you can ensure your children will be financially secure. Should you pass away before your children are adults, a will lets you designate what of your possessions should go to them.

You can also utilize other estate planning tools like a trust if you want your children to be able to access money after a certain age - when they are able to make responsible decision about how to use it.    

3. Finally, you can appoint a person to manage your children's finances. This could be the same person you appointed as guardian or someone else. Either way, appointing an adult who has your children's best interests in mind will help ensure they are provided for and use their money wisely.

While there are many other benefits to having a will, these three are some of the most important for parents of young children. It's never too late to create a will -- and you will be glad you did, knowing that your children are protected if anything happens to you.

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