When you create a Will provides peace of mind of knowing the children will be protected and cared for after you pass away. If you die in England or Wales without a valid Will and you have children under 18, others can make decisions about who will take care of the children and manage their finances and education.
Creating a Will allows you to name people you trust to look after your children's well-being if you die. These people are called guardians, and they will then have the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal interests of your children, being responsible for their upbringing. Once your guardian wishes are stated clearly in your Will, you can be sure your children will be properly protected. Once you name guardians for your children, our Will writng software automatically creates the correct wording to ensure that all the legal aspects of your wishes are properly covered.
If you die without a Will in England or Wales, your estate (your home, car, bank accounts, investments and anything else you own) will be distributed in accordance with the Rules of Intestacy, which govern who will inherit your estate when you are gone. The Rules of Intestacy state that all children are to receive their inheritance outright at the age of 18, whatever their financial position or their levels of maturity. The Intestacy Rules also state that, if your children are entitled to benefit, then your estate will be divided up equally between all your children (excluding stepchildren) which of course may not be what you want. Making a Will can ensure that your grown-up children will get the maximum benefit from their inheritance. It may be that you want them to inherit at the age of 21 or 25 rather than at 18, and you can easily spcify that with our online Will writing software. Writing a Will can also ensure that money or other gifts given to your children during your lifetime can be taken into account, helping to minimise disputes between your children after you die.
If you’d like to provide for a stepchild after you pass away, you need to state this clearly in your Will, otherwise they will not inherit any of your property, possessions or money. The Rules of Intestacy, which were created back in 1925, simply ignore stepchildren entirely. Our Wills lets you specify recipients by name to ensure that your stepchildren are not overlooked.
If you’re in a relationship but not married or in a civil partnership with your partner and you die without a Will, all your property and possessions in your estate will be inherited by your children, meaning your partner will be left with nothing at all. However if you are married or in a civil partnership and you die without a Will, your spouse or partner will currently inherit the first £350,000 of your estate outright, which may leave your children with little or no inheritance. By writing a Will, you can make provision for both your current spouse or partner and your children and avoid potentially unnecessary disputes after your death.
If you have any other questions about making sure your children are looked after in your Will, please contact us and we will do our best to help you.