July 22nd was a momentous day for the British royals: Queen Elizabeth became a great grandmother, Prince Charles and Camilla became grandparents, Prince Harry became an uncle, and William and Kate became parents.
Outside the hospital, a town crier, decked out in traditional robes and an extravagant feathered hat, shouted the news and rang a bell. A car carrying the announcement drove from the hospital to the palace, where the news was greeted with shrieks of “It's a boy!” and strains of “For He's a Jolly Good Fellow.” A large crowd struggled at the palace gates to catch a glimpse of an ornate, gilded easel displaying a small bulletin formally announcing the news.
Most of us enter the world with far little less fanfare, although no less love and affection. Once the baby is brought home and settles in, it is important for parents to begin thinking about estate planning. Too often, parents of young children neglect or postpone estate planning, saying they are too young, quite healthy, or cannot afford the expense. Another reason may be that estate planning deals with issues that people would prefer to ignore (death, property, marriage and family relationships).
But estate planning can be a very positive and important part of raising a family. Estate planning assures that certain things happen at death. Perhaps the most important benefit of having a Will is that it allows parents to designate a guardian for their children. This person will provide for the social training and physical needs of children if neither parent survives. If there is no Will nominating a guardian, the court must appoint one even though it cannot possibly know the values, lifestyle and child-rearing philosophy of the parent(s). It must make a decision based on state law and in the best interests of the children. It is often difficult to determine the children's best interests in a brief court hearing. An estate plan can also ensure that children will be financially supported and that they will have access to education and funds that will support them throughout their life.