When you’re expecting a baby there’s a long list of things to do to get ready.
Making a Will isn’t usually at the top of the list, and for many people it isn’t even something they think about at all. But in reality, it’s an important job that could seriously impact your family’s future.
Nobody wants to think about a situation in which children lose their parents, but covering every eventuality means that once you have children you can relax and enjoy life safe in the knowledge that you have drawn up plans for their future care should the worst happen.
When parents don’t make a Will
If anything happens to you and you haven’t made a Will, then those left behind will not necessarily know what your wishes were with regard to your children’s upbringing.
The authorities will have the right to place your children with the guardian they decide upon, and there could be a delay in finalising this, which could be even more unsettling for all involved.
Failing to plan and talk things over with family members could also cause disagreement between them.
As far as financial provision is concerned, this will be governed by the Rules of Intestacy, and you will have lost the opportunity to appoint your choice of trustees to look after the money you leave and decide how it should best be spent.
Writing your Will when you’re a parent
Writing a Will allows you to clearly set out who you would like to care for your children should you die. You can also make financial provision for your children, choosing the age at which you would like them to inherit any money you leave them. For example, you may decide that you don’t want them to be given a large sum of money at 18, and that you would prefer them to inherit it when they are older and more settled in life.
You will appoint trustees to administer the money until that time and leave instructions for how they can use it for your children as they grow up, for example a private education or money towards the purchase of a home.
The trustees will also be able to pay money to your children’s guardian, for everyday expenditure such as food, clothing and school expenses.
Choose people whom you trust implicitly and whom you believe are capable of carrying out your wishes as well as looking after the money that you leave. This fund will eventually be inherited by your children so it is important that it is properly managed.