A Will is a legal document you create that sets out instructions for after you die. But what do you think its principle purpose should be?

  1. To say who will inherit your estate
  2. To say who should be in charge of managing your estate (the executor)
  3. To appoint guardians for any children under 18

Well, if you have dependent children, point C is crucial (…and we would also argue that who-gets-what ranks below who-does-what in importance).

A Will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (your ‘estate’).

If you don’t leave a Will (referred to as "dying intestate", the law decides how your estate is passed on – and this may or may not be in line with your wishes (especially when considering the distress, administrative hassle and cost "dying intestate" causes).

Do you want your children to become the care of the Local Authority?

Generally speaking, your assets go to your children by default. But without named guardians, the Local Authority will be obliged to get involved

Potentially, any decisions around the care and finances of your child could sit with the Local Authority until they reach 18, even if a relative has assumed responsibility for the day to day care.

Have you considered that the government allowance for people looking after Children (whether named as Guardians or not) is just £17.60 per week?

It is difficult to make additional support arrangements in a basic Will, which is perhaps why few people think about it. But in worst case scenarios, your children could be placed in care.

I know most of us parents want the best for our children. This doesn’t need to stop when we are no longer around.

The default

The government’s default is to distribute your estate to a married partner and then children, which may not be too far off the mark. But the defaul is to make children the responsibility of the Local Authority where a guardian is not named in a valid Will – and no one wants this.

Life, or death for that matter, does not always go to plan. That is why we think everyone should speak to a specialist who understands the full-range of options (not just simple Wills) for protecting your wishes and your family.

Consider an Asset Protection Trust.

At a minimum, it helps to understand how an Asset Protection Trust differs from the default child’s trust that happens when there is a beneficiary who is not yet 18 years old (the legal age to receive money from a Will).

For example, did you know your own children could lose out on their inheritance if your partner remarried? Or that your child might have to give away half their inheritance if they divorced?

An Asset Protection Trust can help protect future generations from such events. It can also offer far greater flexibility in stating your wishes and providing financial support. It also promotes financial responsibility.

Here at kinherit, we discuss your options and find the best way to protect your loved ones.