Learn the reasons why it’s critical to draught a will when you have young children in the house. Also, investigate the various options available to you, such as will solicitors and online will drafting businesses.
Why is it important for parents to have a will?
Will-writing may be the last thing on your mind as you adjust to your hectic new life as a parent, but it is an important responsibility that you have to fulfil for the sake of your children.
If you pass away without leaving a will, your loved ones and others who depend on you could be left in a state of uncertainty and financial anxiety.
We will discuss why you need a will as well as what it must contain in the next section.
Are you making a will?
You can create a will and have Which? examine it if you are interested in receiving assistance. Wills, and if you buy one between now and the 30th of April, you get a discount of 30%.
If you do not leave a will, what will happen to your family?
If you die without leaving a will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy regulations, which are a complicated collection of laws.
By drafting a will, you may ensure that, in the event that either you or your partner passes away, your family will be taken care of and your assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes, should either of you pass away before your partner.
However, financial gain is not the only factor. Creating a will gives you the opportunity to name guardians for your children in the event that you become incapacitated. If these provisions are not detailed in a will, and both parents pass away, then it may be up to your local authorities or the courts to decide who will be responsible for the care of your children.
In the event that you do not have a will:
Your civil partner, cohabitant, partner, or spouse will not automatically inherit everything. If you are not married to your partner, they will not inherit anything. The local authority or the court may decide who will take custody of your children. Any step-children or foster children will not inherit anything.
Creating the most effective will possible for your offspring.
Find out what you need to mention in a will if your children are beneficiaries of the will.
1. Choose a responsible adult to look after your children.
Consider very carefully who you would choose to serve as a guardian for your children in the event that either you or your partner were to pass away.
The local authorities will be responsible for making the decision if you don’t designate a guardian for your child, and while they typically give preference to immediate family members, this is not always the case.
It is important to keep in mind that once your children reach the age of 18, the appointment of a guardian will terminate immediately.
The majority of individuals choose to choose more than one guardian, or at the the least, a substitute guardian, in the event that the original guardian is unable or unable to fulfil their responsibilities. Naturally, before to naming these individuals, you should have a conversation with them about this topic first.
The selection of a godparent is not equivalent to the appointment of a legal guardian because godparents lack any rights under the law. You need to be sure to name the godparents as guardians in your will if you want them to take care of your children in the event that you pass away.
Learn more about it here:
The process of writing a will
2. Create a budget and savings strategy for your child.
Consider the various options available to you for making preparations to cover the costs associated with the upbringing of your children in the event that you pass away. How will your estate manage to pay for all of these expenses?
When writing your will, you should give some thought to how you will satisfy the divergent requirements of each member of your family following your passing.
It is imperative that you have full faith that your estate will be able to provide for your partner, children, step-children, and any other individuals or organisations that you intend to benefit after your passing.
3. You are responsible for providing for your stepchildren as well as any other dependents.
If you have step-children, those children will not automatically inherit from your estate unless you specifically include them in your will as beneficiaries of some or all of your assets. Therefore, you should think about including provisions in your will to provide for their financial requirements.
This might also be the case with the other children you look after, such as foster children, as well as any adults who are reliant on you and rely on you for support.
4. Make necessary changes to the beneficiaries of any trusts, pensions, or insurance policies
If you have a pension plan, a life insurance policy, or any other assets that are held in trust, these items will not be distributed according to the terms of your will.
If you want your children to inherit these financial items, you will need to contact each provider and nominate your children as your beneficiaries. This will ensure that your children receive the inheritance.
Learn more about it here:
What you should include in your will
5. Determine the minimum legal age to inherit.
Think about the age at which you’d like your children to be able to have complete control over their inheritance.
In most circumstances, they will automatically acquire access to their assets when they are 18 years old, unless the will specifically states otherwise. However, the age of majority in Scotland is 17, thus the kid will inherit at that age by default.
Your children will still be able to enjoy the benefits of their inheritance before they reach this age, but they will not be able to personally administer it. Your child will benefit from having the assets managed by a trustee while they are held in trust for that purpose.
For this reason, the trustee may decide to give the child an allowance from a cash fund; but, the child will not be allowed to take any money from the fund without the approval of the trustee.
You might believe that expecting your children to be financially responsible at the age of 18 is too young of an age. In that case, you have the option of setting a higher minimum age or imposing other restrictions on how they can access the area. Many folks opt for 21, or even older.
5. Designate trustworthy individuals to manage the inheritance of your child
If you pass away before your children reach the age at which they are legally allowed to inherit, their property will have to be placed in trust.
You will need to appoint a reliable individual to take on the role of trustee so that you can run the trust.
Consider carefully who the most qualified individual would be to look after your children’s possessions and assist them in making plans for their future. Your children’s finances are, for all intents and purposes, in the trustee’s management. You should discuss the possibility of naming your spouse as one of the trustees, along with either one or two more trustees, as well as substitute trustees, in the event that both of your parents pass away.
In most cases, selecting a single trustee is a poor decision. If for whatever reason such individual is not there, the rules specify who should be named in their place. However, there is a chance that this won’t happen. Due to the fact that the criteria give priority to familial ties, there is a possibility that the individual who is selected will not be the one that you would choose.
Learn more about it here:
Trusts created by wills and trusts that last a lifetime
7. Take into account distributions made to trust beneficiaries
If a partner or other beneficiary stands to get a sizeable payout in the case of your death – for example, through your life insurance policy – then it is possible that they do not require a sizeable bequest from your will as well.
It’s possible that doing so will free up assets for you to bequeath to your dependents. You should give some careful consideration to the provisions that have been made for every member of your family and the means by which they will be safeguarded.
If you have made the decision to create a trust for the benefit of your children, you will also be required to provide the trustees with instructions regarding the manner in which you want the money to be managed. Should they receive everything at maturity, or would you prefer to provide an income for them in the meantime? Would you prefer to impose the condition that the assets must be used to fulfil certain objectives, such as funding one’s education, meeting daily expenses, or making progress up the housing ladder?
8. If you get married or join into a civil partnership, you should update your will.
Any will that was previously written is null and void when the testator gets married or enters into a civil partnership. If you want to make sure that your desires are carried out after your marriage, you should revise your will and get it witnessed.
You also have the option of including a clause in your will that states that you anticipate marrying your (specified) fiancé and that the will is to be valid both before and after your marriage. This is an option worth considering if you are expecting to get married in the near future.
9. Take into consideration cherished heirlooms
You may wish to make specific legacies so that particular items are passed on to your children rather than sold to pay for inheritance tax or for some other purpose, even though the most important things to consider are who will care for your children and how they will be provided for in the event that you pass away.
10. Make plans to go through your will.
It is essential to ensure that your will is kept up to date so that it can account for any changes in your circumstances.
If you review your will on average once every five years, you will have the opportunity to consider whether or not the individuals you have designated to care for your children are still suitable, as well as whether or not your instructions still accurately represent the circumstances of your family.
How to draught your very first will and testament
When it comes to the creation of your will, you have a number of choices available to you. These choices include drafting your own will, utilising the services of a solicitor, or utilising the services of a will-writing company.
You can get additional information by reading our article on how to write a will.