How to Write a Will for an Unborn Child

By Heather Frances J.D.

You can use a will to accomplish many purposes, including naming guardians for your children, leaving specific bequests to your loved ones and nominating someone to manage your estate until it can be distributed. Though it is typically wise to update your will as your circumstances change, you can include provisions for your unborn children as well as living family members.

Writing Your Will

You can write a will to say almost anything, but it is important to be clear with your wording. If the people you leave behind don't understand what you meant, they can't use your will to properly distribute your property. They may have to rely on a judge to interpret your will if it is unclear. Thus, your will must clearly state that you intend to leave certain bequests to your unborn child. Wills often include gifts to categories of people, such as all of the writer's children, but this may not be clear enough. Instead, you may wish to include a statement that defines children as both your existing children and any children you may hereafter have.

Complying With State Law

State laws may vary in this area, and your state may require certain specific language to ensure your gift is distributed properly. Previously decided court cases in your state may help you or your attorney craft a will to meet your specific needs by looking at how courts have interpreted certain phrases and wording in the past. Wills also must be executed, or signed, in accordance with your state's laws. If you fail to meet your state's basic requirements, your entire will could be declared invalid by a probate court after your death.

Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Protect your loved ones. Start My Estate Plan
Legal Will Advantages & Disadvantages


Related articles

How to Change Your Heirs in Your Will

In your will, you name an executor, the person who will manage your estate according to the distribution instructions that you also provide in your will. If your will meets your state's requirements, the probate court will uphold it and the executor becomes legally bound by its terms. He will have to give your property to the persons you named as the recipients of the property in your will. If you change your mind after you make your will, you must change your will or make a new one. Otherwise, people you don't want to inherit from you will receive property from your estate.

Laws Regarding a Child's Portion in South Carolina Wills

Money is often a source of conflict among family members. That's why it's important to convey your wishes regarding how you want your property distributed after your death. Keep in mind that while your children may feel a sense of entitlement to your property, there is no law in South Carolina that requires you to leave a certain percentage of your estate to your kids in your will.

How to Write an Attachment to an Estate Will

You don't need to start from scratch to make changes to your will. You can modify your will by simply attaching new directions to it. You can also attach a list identifying your personal belongings and to whom you are leaving them. Each state has its owns laws regarding estate planning, and an attorney can answer specific questions about attachments to your will.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

Are Stepchildren Considered Children in a Will?

Your stepchildren may be as close to you as your biological children, but their legal ties to you are different. When ...

How to Update Wills

It's not uncommon for will makers, known as "testators," to experience life changes that may necessitate an amendment ...

Children's Rights in Estate Wills

Your state’s laws determine who inherits your assets if you don’t have a valid will when you die; your spouse and ...

How to Write a Will and Assign a Legal Guardian in California

California wills are governed by the California Probate Code. California law imposes restrictions on the format of a ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED