More than half of the UK’s parents don’t have a valid Will; either they don’t have one at all or it’s out of date. 
Why is having a valid Will important for parents? 
If your children are under 18 you can name guardians and say what you want to happen to them if you die. If you don’t do this, the family courts might have to decide what happens to them. 
If you aren’t married to your children’s other parent, or you have a civil partnership, they won’t be entitled to anything when you die, unless you have included them in your Will. If you have any step-children, they won’t inherit anything either unless they are provided for in your will. 
Even if you are married or have a civil partnership, a valid Will is important to be sure that your family will benefit as you would wish. 
Guardians for your children 
It’s important to make plans, in case both you and your partner die. While local authorities often prefer children to be cared for by their immediate family, such a grandparents or aunts and uncles, this isn’t automatic. 
Your children’s guardianship will end when they are 18, so you also need to think about financial provision for them as they grow into adulthood. 
Family finances 
If you die, your partner or the guardians you have named for your children will have to meet the expenses of bringing them up. 
You will need to think about all the different needs of your partner, children, step-children and anyone else that you want to benefit. This could include other children that you look after, such foster children, and any adults who depend on you or disabled children who might need continuing support as adults. 
If you have life insurance policies, a pension scheme or other assets that are held in trust, you must tell the provider who you want to benefit from them. These won’t be passed on in your Will. 
If you die before your children are 18 any assets you leave will be held in trust for them. You will need to choose someone to manage the trust on their behalf who will protect their interests and help them to plan for the future. 
Your children can receive an allowance but won’t be able to withdraw money without their trustee's approval. 
Your children will gain control of these assets when they are 18, unless you specify when you want them to inherit, at 21 or 25, for example. 
If you remarry… 
If you get married or enter into a civil partnership, your existing Will becomes invalid, so you will need to make a new one. 
If you have plans to marry in the near future, you can include your fiancé’s name in your Will and this will be valid before and after your marriage. You can also include provision for any children you already have. 
You can find further useful information about wills for new parents on the Which? website
If you would like to discuss making provision for your children in your Will then we are happy to give you advice, just give us a call
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