Posted on 29.9.15 by Tasoula Addison
Step 1: Choosing a Guardian
If you pass away and have a partner, it is most likely that your child will be cared for by your surviving partner. However, if something terrible happens to both parents, then what happens? Nobody wants to ever think about this situation, but sometimes it is necessary.
If you haven’t elected a legal guardian in your Will, it will then likely be up to the Courts to decide; who may choose a family member that you wouldn’t, especially if you are a single parent or have a complex family situation e.g. you have re-married.
Here’s what to do…
- Speak with the partner of your child/children
- Consider the age, health and location of potential guardians
- Talk to the guardian before naming them in your Will
Step 2: Choosing an Executor of the Estate
In simple terms this refers to who will have control over your child’s finances and property. It can be the same person you appointed as a legal guardian or it can be someone completely different.
Putting a trust in your Will if your child is under 18 enables you to make financial arrangements for the nurturing and upkeep of your loved ones. Making such provisions are likely to save a lot of misunderstanding and potential arguing in the future. By putting a trust in place, you have the knowledge and peace of mind that your children will be looked after financially in a practical, planned manner as set out by you.
Step 3: Making your Will
It’s important to be as specific as possible. Think about assets, property and finances to ensure you know at all times what you want to happen.
It’s also important to consider updating your Will after a change in circumstance.
It is always sound advice to review your Will whenever you experience a major life event to make sure it is still appropriate. Getting married, for an example, automatically revokes a Will that you have previously made, rendering it invalid. If this happens, your whole estate will be dealt with under the rules of intestacy.
Having a child is possibly the biggest life event you can experience and is one of the biggest triggers for people to make a Will or change their current Will to make it more relevant to their new situation. You may wish to update your assets so that your child becomes a second beneficiary after your spouse or to include any new assets you have acquired. Sometimes, it is the small sentimental items that count.
If you already have a named child in your Will and subsequently decide to expand your family, you will need a Will update to ensure all your children benefit from your estate.
Step 4: Use a Trusted and Qualified Solicitor
Probably the most crucial part of the process is choosing who to write your Will. By using a trusted, approved solicitor you can be sure the wording is correct and it has been witnessed according the legal rules. Mistakes in your Will can render it invalid and any wishes you have expressed will not be granted.
It is even more crucial to use a solicitor if your Will provides instructions on your children as they are regulated, qualified and can always advise how YOUR Will should be drafted specific to YOUR situation; other sources such as Will Writers, DIY Will Kits and Bank/Building Society Wills can become a much costlier option if not executed correctly.
Gorvins Solicitors will make the process simple and stress free. You have three options to Act on It and have a chat with us today: give us a call on 0161 930 5117, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online contact form and we will give you a call when it is more convenient.