It might be the last thing you want to think about as a single parent, but making sure you have a valid Will is essential. This is the document that will ensure your children will be looked after in the way you choose.
Failing to make a Will means that your children could be subjected to additional turmoil right when they need things to be as settled as possible. Issues such as who they will live with, who will inherit your money and possessions, at what age your children will inherit and who will look after the money until then could all be subject to dispute.
Writing a Will allows you to clearly set out your wishes for your children for the future.
Deciding who you want to look after your children is important, especially if you have sole custody. Discuss the matter with those whom you are choosing to ensure they are happy to take on the role.
As well as appointing your first choice, you should also choose backups as well, in case your initial choice is unable or unwilling to act if and when the time comes.
By thinking about this now, you avoid the risk that your children will end up with someone whom you wouldn’t have chosen, or even in foster care.
Making a Will allows you to leave all of your money and possessions to whoever you want. If you fail to do so, your estate will pass under the rules of intestacy.
This could mean that if you are still married your ex will inherit your personal possessions along with the first £250,000 of your estate, plus 50% of the remainder.
If you wish to leave everything to your children, your Will needs to specify this. Your solicitor will also be able to advise how to pass your share of your home on to your children.
This section of the Will allows you to choose who you would like to look after the money until your children are old enough to inherit.
They will have the responsibility of approving payments for the children’s day to day living costs, education and larger items that they may ask for as they grow older, such as a car or payment for accommodation.
Age of inheritance
Your Will can stipulate at what age your children can inherit their share of your estate. You may well feel that 18 is too young for them to be handed what may be a large sum of money, so you can choose to leave it until they are older, for example 25.
To speak to someone about writing your Will, call one of our specialist team at legalmatters, on 01243 216900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.