Protecting Your Children
Providing for your children is understandably a high priority consideration when planning for the future. When you have children, making a Will becomes all the more important, as it is an opportunity for you to have a say as to who should look after your children if you should die before they reach maturity. You can also set up a Trust arrangement, so you have the peace of mind that they are looked after financially, either with a regular income, or as a lump sum on reaching a certain age, or both. There are also considerations for when your child is of mature age; making sure you have a valid Will can prevent a whole host of problems that could cause considerable stress and financial problems down the line.
Appointing a Guardian for Your Child
You can ensure someone you trust to look after your children’s needs will be appointed their guardian if you pass away while they are still young. The guardian will be responsible for all your child’s needs should you die, making choices for them in every aspect of their life, including education and care, so it is crucial someone you trust should be named guardian. Failure to appoint a guardian for your child will mean that in the event that you die before the child reaches maturity leaving the child without a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian. The court does not always get it right in these cases, so it is an important consideration that will give you peace of mind that your family will be looked after if anything should happen.
What Will Dying Without a Will Mean for Your Child
A Will may also be automatically cancelled if you have married or entered into a civil partnership after the making the Will. It is important, therefore, especially where child beneficiaries are concerned, that you ensure your Will is written correctly, and that it is still valid. Intestacy can mean your children may suffer financial difficulties down the line and it can put strains on family relationships at an already difficult time. It can sometimes even mean your estate is passed on to an ex-spouse. The intestacy rules in application can also mean a child loses out altogether, for example, a step child will not have automatic rights to inherit.
Deciding What Happens to Your Possessions
With a valid Will, you can specify which items should go to whom. In the absence of a Will, there is often undue stress on family members over disagreements about how to distribute the deceased’s possessions. To reduce the risk of family heirlooms being sold on so that they are equally distributed, a Will can specify which child or loved one gets what, eliminating any confusion or uncertainties.
Avoid a Costly Probate Process for Your Children
Having a valid Will can reduce lengthy and costly probate services for your children. If you don’t have a valid Will in place and a clear instruction on how your estate is to be distributed, this could lead to problems on how the estate is to be distributed and who to. This could also lead to unnecessary fees at the cost of your loved ones.
Creating a Trust Will for Your Children
If you wish to provide an income for your children, or provide a lump sum when they reach a certain age, or if you want to ensure children from a previous relationship are not disinherited, a Trust Will may be a worthy consideration. The following are some of the trust arrangements we frequently arrange for those with children to consider:
This is the simplest form of Trust, where everything goes to the beneficiary when they reach a mature age.
Asset Protection Trust
An Asset Protection Trust is a Trust which allows a person to transfer assets into Trust immediately rather than planning for a transfer on death. This type of Trust is designed to protect assets for future beneficiaries and to ensure that the assets ultimately pass to the chosen beneficiaries. Because the assets are held in a Trust, they are not held within your distributable estate on your death, which means that the costs of probate may be reduced and any delay in dealing with the Trust assets is avoided. This also means that the distribution of the Trust assets cannot be influenced by events on your death as you have already ring-fenced the assets for your chosen beneficiaries. You will also have appointed trustees you can rely on to ensure the distribution takes place as, and when, you would want it to.
Such a Trust guarantees beneficiaries receive cash assets and investments, as well as property, should your surviving partner remarry after your death, or re-write their Will, changing your wishes for your children.
This type of Trust is where a person gives trustees powers to decide how they deal with the income of the Trust. For example, the trustee may be granted the power to decide how much income a beneficiary should receive. A Discretionary Trust can be a good way to mitigate inheritance tax liability on an estate. It is also helpful where a beneficiary does not have the capability to look after their affairs.
Interest in Possession Trust
In this type of Trust, the beneficiary must be passed all the income from the Trust, less any expenses.
Property Trust Wills
Placing your property into Trust is a way to ensure your children, who are usually beneficiaries, actually inherit. If your surviving partner remarries after you die and there is no Trust in place, there is nothing to guarantee that your children will inherit from the surviving spouses Will.