Why do Parents need a Will?
10 June 2019 by Jane Golding
In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, a Child is someone who has not yet reached their 18th Birthday. Once a child turns 18 they are legally an adult. The UK population is projected to continue growing, reaching over 72 million by the year 2039. When starting out in family life, a Will might be the last thing on your mind as you live your busy new life as a parent, but it is part of your responsibility to your children?
Do I need to make a Will to protect my children who are under 18?
- If you die in either England or Wales without a valid Will and you have children under the age 18, others which could include the Local Authority or the Courts can make decisions about who will take care of your children, managing their Education and Finances.
- If you are not married to your partner or civil partner they will not automatically inherit.
- Any step-children or foster children will not inherit anything.
- A Godparent has no legal rights. If you wish the godparents to look after your children, you must name them as guardians in your Will.
- If you make a Will, this would allow you to name people you and your children trust to look after them if you die. You should think carefully about who you would appoint as a Guardian.
- Most people appoint more than one Guardian, or at least appoint a substitute Guardian in case the first is unwilling or unable to take the role on. You would need to discuss this with the people you choose before naming and appointing them within your Will.
- If you have step-children, they will not automatically inherit from your Estate unless you specifically include them in your Will. You will therefore need to consider making arrangements in your Will to meet their financial needs.
- You would need to consider the age of inheritance for your child(ren). They would automatically receive their inheritance at the age of 18.
- If you die before the age your children can inherit, their assets will need to be held in Trust. You would need to think carefully about the best person to safeguard your child(ren)’s assets.
- Guardianship automatically ends when your child(ren) reach the age of 18.