5 reasons why all parents should make a Will

1. To ensure your children are protected in all circumstances and reduce any future stress. 

Our children are all individuals and as parents, we want to make sure that they are protected in all circumstances. Protection for your children may be something as simple as making sure that they will be placed with the appropriate people in the event that both parents were to die, or to ensure that they have a sufficient trust fund set up to pay for any college or university fees in the future. It could also be that your children have autism or a disability which will require more specific planning for the future. There are many different types of trusts and protective measures that can be put in place within a Will so that your children are protected in the event of both parents dying. 

2. To appoint a guardian in the event that both parents were to die before their children reach 18 years of age.

In the event of one parent dying, the surviving parent will usually take up guardianship of any child under the age of 18. It is important however, that your children are protected in the event that both parents die whilst they are under the age of 18. Although the appointment of a guardian within your Will is not legally binding, it carries a great deal of weight in the event that someone was to contest such an appointment in the future.

3. To ringfence assets for the benefit of children, in the event that one parent were to die and the survivor remarried.

It is important to all of us that the property and assets that we have worked hard for over the years are protected for the benefit of our children in the future. Whilst none of us can predict what the future holds, it is possible to ringfence and protect assets for the benefit of your children, in the event that you were to die and your surviving spouse was to remarry.

While you would always want to make sure that your spouse is well provided for during their lifetime, a well drafted Will can provide for this, whilst at the same time protecting to assets so that they eventually pass to your children and will not form part of the surviving spouse’s Estate. This type of Will drafting can be carried out in a very simple way and provide peace of mind when the possibility of remarriage is a concern.

4. In the event of a second marriage, to protect your wealth for your children should the new spouse have children from a previous relationship or to protect wealth for both your children and step-children.

So many of us have complicated family dynamics and in the case of second marriages, it is often the case that the family grows to include step-children. Whilst it may be the case that you want your step-children to benefit from your Estate, there are often times when each parent will want to protect their own Estate for their respective children. This is often something that people do not think about when marrying for the second time and without careful planning, these can cause complications in the future when one spouse dies and the surviving spouse only protects their Estate for their own children. You can make sure that your new spouse is protected and well looked after for their lifetime and at the same time, ringfence your wealth for the benefit of your own children in the future so that there is no risk of them being written out of a Will at a later date.

5. To lower Inheritance Tax.

None of us like paying inheritance tax, especially when we have worked hard all of our lives to provide a family home and savings. Whilst we all want to have enough money to live on, a carefully drafted Will and succession planning can reduce the amount of inheritance tax that your Estate will pay and therefore provide additional funds for your children. Sometimes this type of planning can be carried out through lifetime gifts or the creation of trusts which will assist in making your Will more tax efficient.

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