How A Will Can Protect Your Family
Many people think that wills are just put in place to make sure that any assets you have are distributed to the people you want, but if you have children a will has a much more significant meaning.
Protecting Your Children
You have legal responsibility for your children until they are 18 and therefore you must think about what would happen if you or your partner died and were not able to care for your children anymore. Making sure that you have a will in place and that it appoints a legal guardian for your children makes a will an essential part of parenthood.
With a legal guardian in place you can be sure that your wishes will be followed and make sure your children are cared for by someone that you have selected because of their ability to care for your them and because you trust them with your most precious things, your children.
If you die without leaving a will, your children may be taken into care while the court searches for an appropriate person to look after them. Putting your child into care at a time when they have lost their parents, without the love and support of people they know can be devastating for them. Even after the court has found someone they deem to be an appropriate person, you may not consider them to be the right person to care for your child.
Alongside the need to make sure that your children are cared for by someone you have chosen, you also need to ensure that they are also financially secure. If you die with no will, the court will decide how to split your estate and your children may not receive any money at all. This is particularly important if you are separated from your partner but not divorced as your ex-partner will still be your next of kin in the eyes of the law.
When making your will, you will be able to set up trusts for them and make sure the money is kept safe for them until they are 18 years old. You will also be able to keep the family home for the children to continue to live in until they reach an age you specify, when it can then be sold. Keeping the family home and being financially secure are extremely important things that will help your children live their lives without you.
Updating Your Will
Once you have made your will, you must keep on updating it. If you have another child it is particularly important because if they are not named in your will they will not automatically become a benefactor and also they will not automatically have a legal guardian appointed.