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In 2014, the Law Society reported that a mighty 64% of adults were leaving the future security of their family to the government: they didn’t have a Will.

For parents, looking after their children is one of the only things that truly matter. It is a 24 hour job with no let-up, encapsulating every living moment, both physically and mentally. No small feat.

All that considered, parents naturally do not have a lot of spare-time; prioritising tasks is vital just to get to the end of the day. There exists piles of ‘now’, piles for the ‘future’ and piles of ‘procrastination’. This last one is the I-like-this-so-I-am-going-to-do-it-now-even-though-I-should-be-doing-something-else pile. The most important pile is the ‘now’, the most enjoyable is often the ‘procrastination’ and the one that is deferred for another day is the ‘future’.

Which pile do you think ‘making a Will’ is in for most people? Which pile is it in for you? Well, according to the stats, it goes in the future pile.

Most people are aware that a Will involves dividing up your assets, property and possessions to the people you would like to benefit when you are no longer around. For a parent, an absolutely key question that can get overlooked is one of guardianship:

Who will look after my children?

Undoubtedly, it is a question that nobody wants to consider, but your 24 hour job would require the most trustworthy pair of shoes you could imagine to fill it. This is no procrastinating matter. If you die your children will probably be cared for by their other parent but if the worst happens to both of you, then what happens? Would you like to choose this incredibly important person yourself or would you like someone else, maybe the Courts, to decide for you? A stupid question, I know.

Making a Will with a qualified solicitor allows you to put your every last wish in place. Without one, no matter if you’ve expressed your wishes verbally with 100 people, the law will take matters into its own hands, and more importantly, it may not be to your liking. If your children are under 18, a Will enables you to appoint a guardian and make financial arrangements for the nurturing and upkeep of your child or children, saving a lot of confusion, potential wrangling and unnecessary hassle.

Appointing a guardian is crucial if:

  • If you are single parent
  • You’re cohabiting and the children are not the children of your partner
  • You want to make a provision should both you and your partner die

Complex Families

The traditional nuclear family is no more. Many parents now enter into more than one marriage during their lifetime, or simply cohabit, and subsequently care for stepchildren, who grow to form an integral part of the family unit. Around one in every three families in the UK is now a ‘step family’, where children are brought up by a parent who isn’t their biological mum or dad. However, should you die without making a Will, British law dictates that only biological and adopted children have any legal rights under the intestacy provisions, leaving stepchildren with precisely nothing.

The only way to ensure your wishes are kept is to write them into a Will.

Safeguarding finances

There are many different nuances when making a Will, which is why you should consult a legal expert. Simply naming children in your Will does not always offer sufficient protection for them and the use of trusts can be invaluable for offering another layer of protection. Seeking professional tailored advice ensures that your Will is unique to you and works for your individual circumstances.

Make sure you fulfil your duty of care to the children you have dedicated your life to and make a Will. This is not a task for the ‘future’ or for the ‘procrastination’ pile, it is one for ‘now’, so make sure you Act On It.

To Act On It and deal with a professional and expert team, give Gorvins Solicitors a ring to give yourself peace of mind on 0161 930 5117 or email us at actonit@gorvins.com and someone will give you a ring at a time convenient for you.