Although many people know what a will is, statistics suggest that only around 30% of people in UK have a will. This is a surprisingly low figure, as a will can not only make sure your wishes are carried out but will also make sure your children are protected in the event that something happens to you.
Alongside this, due to the fact that many families are not made up in the ‘traditional 2.4 children’ way. In fact over 80% of families in the UK are ‘non-traditional’. This makes a will even more important to ensure your children are protected.
A will works in a number of ways. It allows you to decide where and to whom your estate will go. If you have children, a will also outlines who you chose to be your child’s legal guardian in the event of your death.
Appointing A Legal Guardian To Take Care Of Your Children
Appointing a legal guardian is very important because if you die without a will and have children, they will be taken into care whilst the court decides who will they are going to appoint. Obviously if something has happened to you and your partner, your children will be having to deal with a great deal of upset and this will be amplified if they are not able to be with people they know and love because they have been put into care.
Once the court has decided who they have chosen to be your children’s legal guardian, it may not be the people that you would want to look after your kids, so by putting a will in place you will make sure your children are not put into care while they wait to have a guardian appointed and that they end up being looked after by people you have chosen yourself.
A will ensures that your children are secure financially too and you will be able to set up a trust for each of your children when they reach 18 years old. You can also keep the house from being sold so they have somewhere to live up until an age you specify in the will. After that the house can be sold.
Once you have made a will, it is equally important to make sure you update it on a regular basis and even more so if you have more children or your family circumstances change.
If you have another child, they will not automatically inherit from your estate if they are not named in your will, and they will not automatically be appointed to the legal guardian of your choice.
For more information about this article or any aspect of our Wills, Probate & Trusts services (including Care home fees recovery and powers of attorney), please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).