Welcoming a new child into the family is one of life’s greatest moments and becoming a new parent brings many new responsibilities: including the importance of making a will.
Making a will might be the last thing you want to think about, but it’s now part of your responsibilities as a parent. If you die without a will, you might leave your children and family with financial issues and worries.
If you are a new parent and need help deciding why you need a will, here are a few questions and answers that will help you decide what is best for your children and family.
What can happen to your family if you have no will?
If you die without a will, your estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy. In other words, if you don’t have a will, your partner won’t automatically inherit everything, if you are not married your partner won’t inherit anything and your children’s custody might be decided by the court.
Who will be appointed your children’s guardian?
One of the most important reasons young parents need to make a will is to appoint a guardian for their children. Without a will a guardian is chosen by the local authorities and although the guardian is usually someone from your immediate family it doesn’t always mean it’s what you would want.
Think carefully who you would appoint as a guardian and also keep in mind that you can appoint more than one guardian. The appointment ends when your children reach the age of 18.
What happens with your child’s finances?
Something really important for your children’s future is planning their finances. Create a plan in your will for all the expenses and how to cover for these costs. For example, your estate could cover all the expenses.
At what age do you think that your child/children will be old and sensible enough to inherit?
When making a will you can also decide on the age of inheritance, unless your will says otherwise your children will automatically receive full control of their assets at 18. You might think 18 is too young an age so, you can set a higher age if you wish or put certain conditions on their access.
Before the age of 18, your children can still benefit from their inheritance, but the control of the assets will be managed by a trustee.
Who do you want to choose to act as trustees?
If you die before the age your children can inherit, their assets will be held in a trust. The trust is managed by a trustee, a nominated person from you that will control your children’s finances.
You can choose more than one trustee and substitute trustees; the trustee will help plan your children’s future.
When it comes to making the best will for your children there are many options you can include in your will. Please contact our life planning team for more details or use the contact form on our website.