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Are you a parent? – this is why you need a will

If you are a parent – whether you’ve just started a family or if you have older children, then you may well be thinking about whether parents really need a will.

We can’t emphasise enough that parents need to make sure that they have a legally valid will and that they periodically review their documents and see whether it continues to reflect their wishes.

Removing uncertainty

When people pass on, it is often difficult for those left behind to fully understand what their loved ones wishes actually were.

Trying to second guess what the person who has died really wanted can be very time consuming and emotionally difficult.

Making a clear and unambiguous will removes all of this uncertainty and gives people one less thing to worry about.

How the law might get it wrong

There is some fairly defined law and case law that gives us some rules around death without a will (called intestacy) but the problem is that families don’t conform to one standard format.

Years ago families were invariably the standard man, woman and 2.1 kids but ask yourself how many families you know that are like that today? Ask yourself if your family is like that?

And this is where the law often struggles.

Dealing with the complexity around family structures and our feelings is way too complicated to be just left to the law.

Intestacy law means that step-children, divorced partners and people who are co-habiting won’t automatically inherit and there are some fairly complex rules around where the assets go.

Making sure your wishes are known

Have you got something that you’d really like to pass on to one of your children?

Maybe you’d like to make some provision for a step-child?

Are you not actually married but treating a child of your common-law partner as your own?

In all of these cases, a properly executed will can make sure that your loved ones are looked after properly and in accordance with your wishes.

Making a will as a parent is incredibly important for your family and it’s something you really need to get done.

Similarly, financial assets like pensions and life insurance held in trust won’t pass down automatically.

Other considerations for parents when making a will

Should the worst happen and your children lose both of their parents then who will look after them?

Writing an effective will can make sure that they are looked after by your choice rather than the state.

Having somewhere to live is probably the first thing that needs to be decided but property doesn’t automatically pass to children and a lot depends upon the actual method of ownership.

What age do you want your children to inherit, how much? And what? Who will look after the assets in the meantime?

All of these can be clearly laid out so that your children get what you want at a time that is most suitable for them.

Appointing a trustee in your will is a method of making sure that the assets are maintained for the time when your children are old enough to inherit in their own right.

Getting it right with Smartwill

Writing an online will to make sure that your children are properly looked after when you pass on doesn’t have to be time-consuming and complicated.

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