As I am sure some of you know, Stuart and I have recently purchased a new house. During the house purchase, we discussed with our solicitor that we wanted to set up a will once the purchase had gone through. It turns out that we should both have already had one and that until we get married, Thomas is both our next of kin. This was a bit of a wake up call for both of us and something we are sorting asap. I do not want to this happen to other expecting or new parents so here is some advice from solicitors about wills.
Now you’re no longer a couple, but a family with a new baby, as well as choosing a pram and car seat you should be writing a Will to ensure your child is cared for if anything happens to you.
Why should I make a will when I’m still young?
Sadly 60 per cent of people die without making a Will and then it’s left to the courts and the state to decide how children are cared for. By writing a Will you are making sure your wishes for your children’s welfare are carried out.
Can I say in a Will who will look after my child or children if I die?
Yes, you can appoint a legal guardian who you know and trust to care for your child or children if you and your spouse should die. This person will be responsible for making decisions in your place.
If I don’t make a Will what would happen to my property, money and belongings?
If you don’t make a Will the State will decide how your assets are distributed, regardless of your wishes, and if there are step children in the family the situation could be complicated. Making a Will stating how you wish your assets to be distributed ensures your wishes will be carried out.
How can I ensure children from a previous relationship are cared for in my Will?
If there are stepchildren in the family a discretionary trust Will or a mutual Will can be used to ensure their future welfare is protected.
What is a discretionary trust Will?
This type of Will is suitable if you decide to leave half of your estate to a child from a previous relationship and half to your current spouse and children. You can put up to £325,000 into a trust for the child from a previous relationship and he or she would benefit from the trust when your spouse dies. This means your spouse and children can live in the family home but the money in the trust can’t be touched.
What is a mutual Will?
To make a mutual Will you and your spouse have to name the same beneficiaries to be left agreed sums of money when the second spouse dies. Each will would contain a clause to say that neither of you can change the Will without the other’s consent. This means that if you die first a child from a previous relationship will still be provided for and your spouse has access to all your money for his or her life time.
Visit www.mylawyer.co.uk to find out more.
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