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Moms Contemplating Your Mortality – Making a Will

On Wednesday, we heard tragic news of the death of actress Natasha Richardson from a skiing accident (featured on right).

And across the pond, celebrity watching has taken a ghoulish turn with the obsessive coverage of cancer-stricken reality TV star Jade Goody‘s imminent death. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just weeks to live in February, she sold the rights to her wedding to a celebrity magazine and appeared on countless TV shows and in newspapers to discuss her illness, her marriage, and numerous products – perfume, books, fitness DVDs – she’s lent her name to.

The connection? Both women are mothers, Natasha Richardson has two teenage sons with her husband Liam Neeson, and Jade Goody also has two sons, aged four and five.

I never gave it much thought before I had my son, but now I’m a mom it occasionally worries me. What would happen to my son if I died? I don’t have a will, I’m separated from his father, I live in a different country to my family, I don’t have any life insurance. Who would look after him and how would they afford it? I’m more worried more about who he would end up living with than the money, but I also want him to have at least as much financial security as I could provide for him.

Jade Goody’s has stated that her motivation for dying in the public eye is to make as much money for her son’s futures before her death. Loosing their mother is as hard for celebrity children as it is for non-celebrity kids and I would imagine that it won’t be much comfort for Jade or Natasha’s boys that their financial futures are taken care of.  But I guess that their mothers would prefer that their children won’t have the extra stress of worrying about money.

Neither woman could have expected that they would leave their children motherless. Jade was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the very young age of 26, and Natasha was probably enjoying a fun day on the slopes. We have no control over accidents and illnesses but we can have some control over what comes next if the worst happens. All parents should have a will, and moms in circumstances like mine with broken families or other complicated situations need one most of all. A will is important because it can state your wishes for who should look after your child or children, and allocate money for doing so.

So where do you start? Wills can be complex depending on your circumstances, but here’s an overview of the process and a brief guide from CNN for parents to make a will.

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