Children in Wills
To Quote Helen Lovejoy from the TV show the Simpons “would someone please think of the children?” Of course most parents do think of their children and go to great lengths to provide for them. However, parents don’t quite attach the same importance to providing stability for their children in the event of their own death. This is, naturally, something we would rather not think of.
Most people know the importance of wills in relation to splitting property between children following the death of a parent. However, just because you do not have property does not mean you should not have a will. Once you are a parent, having a will cannot be underestimated. The need for you, as a parent, to organise a legal carer or guardian and providing for your child’s safety and welfare after your passing is worth creating a will. That way the child or children will be cared for by a person of your choosing and avoid the adoption agency and foster care system altogether.
This is especially important if you are in a mother who is not married or a couple in a civil partnership. Without a will, the partner may lose all rights of access to the child and will have to go through the court to be appointed a guardian. Likewise, you can also appoint a member of the child’s family to aid in the care, such as a grandparent. It is advisable to discuss the appointment with the person of your choosing so they are aware and can be involved in any discussions necessary.
In the will it is also a good idea to leave financial support to the guardian to help with costs and a trust for the child when they are older. Unfortunately, there are very few support agencies for guardians and little financial aid granted by the State. It is important all of these aspects are discussed both with a solicitor, and between the parties, so each party understands all the relevant information. It is crucial to make the will in time and not wait until the last minute, as many people, unfortunately, do not get the chance and it creates many legal complexities.