Making A Will As A Parent
Posted: Sunday July 19 2020
By: Abbie Coleman
Many people automatically believe that even just thinking about making a Will is a job left for the more elderly of the population, however this is a myth that needs changing now! Making a Will is no different than taking out home, life, car or holiday insurance - it protects you against unforeseen future events.
Making A Will As A Parent
Why the New Year is the perfect time for EVERY parent to make a Will!
By Tasoula Addison
It can be seen as even more important than taking out these insurance policies as it is the ultimate act of care and thought and deals with tens of thousands of pounds worth of assets. It ensures that your children, family and loved ones are cared for should something unexpected happen to you.
Getting your housekeeping and affairs in order now, planning for your future and giving you and your family a fresh start in the New Year really will take a huge weight off your shoulders. Passing away without a Will (known as intestate) means your whole estate and possessions are shared out according to the rules of intestacy, as set out by the law and not by your wishes and desires.
Being a mum is a full time job as it is; being a working mum is on another level. Here are 4 simple points as to why you should consider your future this New Year.
The Guardian of your Child
This is perhaps the most decisions for a parent to make when thinking about the future. Who will fill your shoes and take on your 24 hour role? If you pass away and you have partner, then it’s most likely that your partner will be cared for by your surviving partner BUT what happens if something terrible happens to you both?
Electing a legal guardian in your Will is the only way to ensure the person you trust the most takes the reigns for those you love the most. If you don’t specify this in your Will, the Courts will more than likely decide, who may choose a family member that you wouldn’t. This is particularly important if you are a single parent or have a complex family situation, such as you have re-married or have children with another partner.
There are a few things you need to do when choosing a guardian…
- Speak with the partner of your child/children
- Consider the age, health and location of potential guardians
- Talk to the guardian before naming them
- The Guardian of your Estate
This refers to who will have control over your child’s finances and property as they grow up. The guardian of your estate can be someone completely different to the guardian of your child or it can be the same person.
If your child is under 18, including a trust in your Will can be the simplest way to set out their future. A trust enables you to make financial arrangements for the upkeep of those you love, in a planned manner as described by yourself, and will save a lot of misunderstanding and potential squabbling.
Being as specific as possible in your Will
Think about assets, property and all of your finances to ensure your loved ones are fully looked after. It’s also important to consider updating your Will if you go through a major life event or change in circumstance e.g. having another child, getting married.
These are two of the biggest triggers. Both significantly alter your life, therefore it is important to either make or review your Will to make sure everything is still pertinent to your life. You may wish to update your assets so that your child becomes a second beneficiary after your spouse or to include any new assets you have acquired, including those small sentimental items.
Let the Trusted Professionals do their job
Probably the most crucial part of the process is choosing who to write your Will. Just as you are likely to be an expert in your field of work, a solicitor is an expert in their field of work – providing legal advice and drawing up watertight documents in a regulated and insured manner.
Yes, you could use a Will Writer or even a DIY Will Kit, but you could also build your own house if you wanted to – leave it to the qualified experts. Mistakes in your Will can make it invalid and any wishes you have expressed will not be granted.