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Why write a Will when you have children?

To protect and prepare. 

The legal process when we pass is more complex than we may believe, especially when children are involved. Assuming that your children are going to be taken care of by who you want them to be is a risk that, as parents, we can not take, and that’s why it is crucial to create a Will. 

“I have children; however, I don’t own a property or have any assets to leave. Do I still need to make a Will?”

Yes, to create a Will, you only need something or someone you want to protect. And in this case, your children need an official document in place to guarantee who will take care of them in case the worse happens. 

Appointing Guardianship

Writing a Will when you are a parent is to, first and foremost, appoint who is going to be taking guardianship of your children. We never know what is around the corner, and in cases where both parents are deceased, it will be left to the court to decide who will take care of your children. Likewise, family dynamics can be complex, and just expressing your wishes to loved ones is not enough to guarantee who your children will end up with.

Appointing guardianship is granting someone “Parental Responsibility.” This gives them the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf regarding the following:

  • Education
  • Religion
  • Administration Of The Childs Property
  • Residence 

This will take effect after you pass if no parent is surviving who already has parental responsibility or there is a residence order in your sole favour relating to the child. 

Having a Will that states guardianship is the only way we as parents can ensure they will be taken care of by who we choose. Doing so provides us with peace of mind and the security of knowing we are still protecting them when we are no longer here. 

Alongside appointing guardianship, there is also the worry about how assets will be managed until our children are old and responsible enough to manage them themselves. This is where a Children’s Trust will need to be applied.

Children’s Trust

Many parents are shocked when they find out how little control they have over distributing their assets to their children without leaving specific trust provisions.

A children’s trust is a legal structure you can create in addition to your Will. It allows you to put a plan in place for any young beneficiaries and allocate a trustee who will manage assets until the child is of chosen age. For example, If you leave your child a property, the trustee will manage the property financially and take care of the upkeep.

You and the chosen trustee will have an agreement verbally and in your trust so the understanding is clear about how assets will be managed. The trustee is also in charge of then distributing any finances specified by you to the beneficiary.

If there is no trust put into place, ultimately, the child will receive a lump sum of money as soon as they turn 18 and spend it unwisely.

There is no time frame on when you should have a Will in place and we never know what is around the corner. As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our children, even when we are not here anymore.

If you would like to book an appointment to start you Will please get in contact.

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A children’s trust is a legal structure you can create in addition to your Will
Why write a Will when you have children?
Why write a Will when you have children? 
To protect and prepare.
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