If you have children, whether with a partner or separated from your partner, or you are about to have a baby and you are worried about putting in place plans that look after his or her future, you should look into writing a will. Being able to write a will that is fair and has clear provisions for your children in the event of your death is important to the long-term financial stability of your family and children, especially if the worst case scenario happens and you pass away at a young age. Always look for solicitors with expertise and experience in dealing with fair will writing for children.
Writing a last will and testament is a crucial undertaking for parents, especially if your children are about to be born or are at a young age. Ensuring that all finances and guardianships are looked after in your will puts in place a strong plan for the future of your children in the worst case scenario. Make those core and decisive decisions now for your children and it will provide you with peace of mind.
The first thing to consider is who to appoint as a guardian for your children in the event of your death, and that of your partner. The guardian is responsible for all of your children’s needs and will be expected to bring them up, make decisions about education, healthcare and all other aspects of your children’s lives. If you do not choose to appoint a guardian in your will this will mean that should you child be under the age of 18 and without a parent, they will be left in the hands of the court system. This could mean the court making what you believe would be the wrong choice of guardian, or in the worst cases your child entering the care system.
If your circumstances change after writing a will – for example you marry again – it is important to update your will to reflect your new situation and to ensure the provisions for your children are still valid. Intestacy means your children may suffer financially, and there could be repercussions for strained relationships within the family as the result of your failure to update your will. In some cases intestacy rules that your estate is passed on to your ex-spouse or partner, or that your step-children do not have any automatic rights to inherit (if you have intended for them to inherit a portion of your estate and wealth in the event of your death).
When writing a will you can decide what happens to your possessions. This can cause stress and strained relationships for families in cases where a will has left no evidence of specific possessions and their intended destination. If you have specific family heirlooms that you would like specific people to have upon your death, list these in your will, or alternatively, state clearly which items you would want sold and the money distributed evenly between various named parties in the will.
Always be thorough with your will when writing it with children and family in mind. It will give you peace of mind and also prevent future family squabbles and your children left without proper care and finances.