How Do I  Write an Online Will for New Parents?
5 min read

How Do I Write an Online Will for New Parents?

How to write a Will as a new parent? Should I leave assets to my children? In this article, we'll share the basics of how to make a Will and why you should do it to protect your family! Keep reading to learn more.

Share this article:

There’s a lot to think about when you become a parent for the first time:  the miracle of life, the constant need for diapers, and the chances that you’ll ever get eight hours of sleep again. (Seriously, how sleep-deprived can you get before you start hallucinating?? Asking for a friend.) The last thing on your mind, when you’re learning how to care for your new bundle of joy, is the eventuality of your own death. It’s unlikely that you’ll pass away unexpectedly but part of becoming a parent is planning for the unexpected. Chances are that you’ve already promised your newborn that you’ll always protect him or her from harm. That includes the harm of dying without a Will. In this article, I’m going to share the basics on how to make a Will and why to do it. FastWill is here to make sure that you live up to your promise to protect your family.

What is a Will Actually For?

A Will is a legal document you use to dictate the distribution of your estate after you pass away. The word “estate” in this context means “all the money and property owned by a particular person, especially at death.” Everything that makes up your net worth is included in your estate: 

  • Real estate

  • Personal possessions 

  • Vehicles

  • Financial securities

  • Cash

  • Cryptocurrencies 

  • Business interests


The purpose of a Will is to leave instructions about how these assets will be distributed to your family. Although a Will still must go through the probate process, it is less expensive and more efficient to go through probate with a Will. When you die without a Will, the process takes longer and the state decides who inherits from you. Obviously, you want to avoid that.

The number one reason to have a Will when you have a new child is to appoint a legal guardian to raise the child in your absence.  Usually, your spouse or the child’s other parent will have full custody if you die. But if the other parent also dies, then the state will decide what’s in the best interest of your child.  Even if the chances of this kind of tragedy are slim, you need to protect your new baby in the event that something catastrophic does occur. Select a person who you think would raise the child the way you would want him or her to be raised.

Are There Other Guardianship Issues?

The most important issue for your new Will is who you want to take care of your child if you pass away. This is a difficult but crucial decision. Although your child’s other parent will have custody if you die, that won’t happen if that person has also passed away or is unable to care for the child. If there’s a relative or godparent you want to take custody of the child, talk to them to make sure they are willing to serve as guardians. That can be an emotionally difficult decision, but it has to be done. You should also be aware of the fact that some family members might assume that they would be the person taking custody of the child, even though that’s not actually what you want. If you have a person like that in your life - say your mother believes that she would raise your child in your absence - then you should probably have a conversation to let them know that they won’t be named guardian. Letting them know your decision now will avoid hurt feelings and prolonged court proceedings later.

Nobody wants to think about their loved ones arguing over who gets to raise a child, but this is one of the unpleasant tasks of parenthood - making decisions that are about the best interests of your kid. 

Should You Leave Assets to Your Child?

You’re probably wondering how people leave their minor children's assets since by definition a child isn’t legally able to take possession of your things. You have the option of naming someone as the guardian of your estate. This person would manage assets until your child turns 18. This person could be the same person you name as the kid’s guardian, but it doesn’t have to be the same person.

What Else Can Be Done with a Will?

When you use FastWill’s templates to make an Online Will, you will be able to make all the decisions you need to protect your precious bundle of joy. That starts with choosing an Executor who can oversee the probate process.

You will also use the Will to plan the inheritances you want to leave to your child, spouse, family, and friends. Most states say that all property will be given to any surviving spouse. But if you don't have a spouse or that person dies first, you need to have a backup plan.

A Will should also list and address any outstanding debts. Keep in mind that you can instruct your Executor on how those debts should be paid. If you die with debts, the assets in your estate could be sold to pay off the debts. If there is property left over, it will go to your legal heirs.

You can use a Will to appoint someone to take custody of Fido, Fifi or any other pets who are an important part of your life. If you don’t make a plan for your pets, then you can’t guarantee that they won’t end up at a shelter. This is not what you would want, but if you don’t make your wishes known, then a court will not bother with your pets.

What About Insurance?

If you’re a new parent, you should consider having a life insurance policy. But you need to be aware that insurance policies can’t be passed through a Will. Insurance goes to a beneficiary that you name in the policy documents.  There are other assets that don’t pass by Will. They include:

  • Your 401(k) retirement account

  • Your pension plan assets

  • Annuities

  • Property that is owned jointly, like the matrimonial home

  • Retirement plan assets

  • Trust property

  • Bank accounts held jointly

All of this property is handled by specifying a beneficiary.  If you’re a new parent making an online Will, this is also a good time to make an inventory of properties that won’t be included in the Will. Then go through and ensure that the beneficiary information is updated. 

These decisions can be overwhelming but FastWill is here to walk you through each step. When you’re ready to write your online Will, you can complete the Will in minutes.

Scroll Down
Share this article:
Let’s begin! First, what’s your name?

Your name that’s stated on your driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport.