Creating a will is a crucial step in planning for the future. And if you have children, protecting them will be at the forefront of your mind. Making provisions for your children in your will ensures that their financial and guardianship needs are met in the event of your death.
Below are a few provisions to consider when writing your will if you have children under 18.
| Who will look after the children? Guardianship
One of the most important aspects of protecting minor children in your will is selecting guardians. These are the people you choose to take care of them if there is no surviving parent with parental responsibility.
You should choose someone who you trust implicitly and who shares your values and beliefs. You should discuss the decision with your potential guardians to ensure they are willing and capable of taking this responsibility.
The guardians will only be appointed upon the death of the surviving parent. Once this happens, the they will have a legal duty to provide care for your children as well as making important decisions in their life.
| Creating a Trust
In your will, you can establish a trust to manage the financial assets you leave behind for your children. The trust can specify how and when these assets are to be distributed. You can choose to provide for your children’s immediate needs, like education and healthcare, and/or set up specific milestones for distributions, such as reaching a certain age.
| Appointing Trustees
The trust you create will need a trustee to manage and administer the assets. The trustee should be someone responsible and financially savvy. It can be the same person as the guardian, but it does not have to be.
| Inheritance Age
In your will, you can set an age at which your children will be able to inherit the assets held in the trust. Common ages are 18, 21 or 25.
By doing this, you can decide when you feel that your children may be mature enough to manage the inheritance responsibly.
| Legal Advice
Protecting your children in your will is a thoughtful and responsible way to secure their future.
We highly recommend that you seek professional legal advice when creating or updating your will. Our solicitors will be able to help you navigate the legal complexities and ensure that your wishes will be upheld.
Contact us on 0800 988 7756 or make an appointment online.
Trainee Solicitor, Lakhjinder Singh Uppal, also contributed to this blog.