Tips For New Parents When Writing a Will

parents sat on laptops with little boy

Having a valid will is important for all new parents to ensure your children, and all the people you care about, are provided for.

Once you have decided to write your will, there are a number of things to think about that you may not have initially considered.

Decide on the Age of Your Children’s Inheritance

Unless the will says otherwise, they will automatically receive access to their assets at 18 in most cases, although the default in Scotland is for the child to inherit at 17.

Before this age, your children can still benefit from their inheritance, but will not be able to manage it personally.

You might think 18 is too young an age to expect your children to be financially responsible. If so, you can set a higher age if you wish or put conditions on their access. Many people opt for 21, or even older.

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Appoint Trustees for Your Child's Inheritance

If you die before the age your children can inherit, their assets will need to be held in trust.

To manage that trust, you need to nominate a trusted person, known as the trustee.

Think carefully about how the best person would be to safeguard your children's assets and help plan for their future. The trustee is essentially in control of your children's finances. Generally, choosing one trustee is a bad idea. There's a risk that person may not be around, in which case there are rules that dictate who would be appointed. The rules give precedence to family relations, and there's a chance that the person who is chosen may not be who you would prefer.

Find out more: Will trusts and lifetime trusts

Consider Trust Beneficiary Payouts

If a partner or other beneficiary will receive a large payout in the event of your death - for example, from your life insurance policy - they may not need a large legacy from your will too.

This could free up assets you can leave for your dependents. Think carefully about the arrangements in place for all the members of your family and how they will be protected.

If you have decided to establish a trust for your children, you'll also need to give guidance to the trustees on how you would like the money to be controlled. Should they receive everything at maturity, or would you like to provide an income? Would you like to dictate that the assets should be used for specific goals, such as education, living costs or stepping onto the property ladder?

Once you have decided what to include in your will, you can make your will and have it reviewed by Which?. Our easy to use service is full of guidance and support, as a Your Baby Club member, you can also get a 20% discount on all our wills using the link provided.
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