Making a Will if You're a Parent
As a parent, just about the most irresponsible thing that you can do is put off making a Will.
Perhaps you view that as a rather "over the top" statement, but did you know that if something happened to you, you hadn't made a Will, and your children were left without a parent then:
1. They Could End Up In Care
They would not "automatically" be looked after by relatives: - instead, they would have to endure a lengthy court process to determine who was to look after them. At the end of that process, they may even end up being put into Care.
2. Your Estate May Not Go To Them
Your estate might end up going to them (it's no foregone conclusion) but only after another lengthy (and often expensive) stint in the courts.
So, having undergone the heartbreak and trauma of losing their parent(s), the people who you love more dearly than anybody else - your children - then have to undergo sometimes years of further trauma, might not inherit what you want them to inherit, and more likely than not will be brought up by somebody not chosen by you (or them).
I therefore make no apologies for my opening statement.
If you write a Will, you can:
Appoint Guardians of Your Choice
Appoint "Guardians" who then legally have the right to look after your children - this means that straight away and without a visit to the courts your children are cared for by people chosen by you.
State Exactly Who Gets What
State exactly who gets what from your estate and who looks after your children's inheritance if they are too young to inherit straight away. What's more, your estate gets distributed far faster because the process involves no legal wrangling (and is also consequently cheaper).
Why Do Parents Not Make Wills?
So why do so many parents not make a Will? Plenty of studies have been carried out, and the main reasons appear to be as follows:
- .They aren't aware of what I've just told you - they think everything will be OK and that they don't need to make a Will.
- .They don't like to contemplate their mortality.
- .They think that a Solicitor has to be involved (this is actually untrue - a Solicitor does not have to involved when you write your Will) and they don't like dealing with Solicitors.
- .They haven't got the time, or they haven't got round to it.
- .They think it's expensive.
All of the above are understandable, although perhaps not point 1 for those who have read this far. I would also discount point 2 for everybody who has taken out Life Insurance - after all, nobody who thinks they are going to live forever would take out Life Insurance, surely?
So if I really want to get you to get the important task of making a Will "out of the way" then I have to demonstrate to you that :
- .You don't need a Solicitor - well let me say it again: you don't. All that matters is that your Will is on paper, signed by you in the presence of 2 witnesses, and signed by those same 2 witnesses.
- .You can find the time.
- .It isn't expensive.
Now that we're down to just two things that I have to prove to you - time and expense - I would like to do nothing more than invite you to Google "make a will online". You'll find several websites (including mine - www.tenminutewill.co.uk - which has been trading for 9 years and whose prices start at £32.95) which allow you to make a Will appointing Guardians and legally settling your Estate. You can do it in your own time, at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home.
This article was written by Jon Leigh of of Tenminute Wills