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Making a Will: When Should a Couple Consider Making a Will?

15 Jan 2021

SPEAK WITH ONE OF OUR SPECIALIST WILLS & PROBATE SOLICITORS

A Will is a legal document that ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes when you die. But when should you make a Will?

It’s up to you when you choose to write your Will, however the sooner you do, the sooner you’re in control of your assets. At a young age, many people believe that writing a Will isn’t needed but it’s strongly recommended. If you don’t make a Will and you die, then the rules of intestacy will apply to your estate. This may mean that those you care about lose out and don’t benefit from your estate.

When should a new couple consider making a Will?

If you’re having a baby together or buying a home, it’s a good idea to make a Will that details what you wish to happen to your home and any other assets you own, such as your savings. You can also put your preferences for who should be appointed guardians of your child, should you and your partner die before your child reaches 18 years old. It’s important to understand that if you’re not married and you don’t have a Will, your partner will get nothing when you die.

Is it worth making a Will before having children?

It’s important to have a Will in place if you own a property with your partner. You can make a Will that’s ‘future-proofed’ so that it could, for instance, leave everything to your partner, but if they died before you everything is left to any children you may have in equal shares. This means if you do have children in the future, they will be provided for in your Will.

Does being married mean I don’t need a Will?

Being married doesn’t mean that everything will pass automatically to the other on the first death. It will depend on how you own your estate and what other family members there are, for example children.  There are Inheritance Tax advantages when you’re married but to ensure these are fully used, it’s important to have a Will in place.

What would happen to our baby if I don’t have a Will?

If you don’t have a Will, in most cases the other parent of your child will have parental responsibility and care for your baby unless there are reasons why this wouldn’t be appropriate.

Father holding hands with daughter

What if I want more children? Do I wait to make a Will until we’ve had all our children?

You don’t need to wait until you have finished having children to make a Will. The Will can refer simply to your children taking your estate in equal shares. However, in the case of second relationships where there are children from different relationships, it’s important to make sure the wording of the Will accurately reflects your wishes. In this scenario, it’s best to consult your solicitor when you have another baby to make sure your Will still reflects your wishes.

If we both died who would get custody of our baby?

If you don’t have a Will, a family member will usually look after your baby. They can apply to the Family Court for an order to give them parental responsibility. If there’s a dispute in the family about who should look after your baby, someone could apply to the Family Court so that a Judge can consider the matter.

It’s best to make a Will so that you clearly state your wishes about who should be the guardian or guardians of your baby. These ‘testamentary’ guardians would gain parental responsibility from the Will itself. By making a Will, you can ensure that the people you wish to care for your baby will have the right to do so.

What do I need to consider when making a Will?

You should think about who you would like to appoint as the Executors and Trustees of your Will. These are the people who will administer your estate and, if you have children under the age of 18 when you die, hold the estate on trust for your children. Therefore, it’s important to appoint people you can trust to carry out this role.

You will also need to think about who you wish to appoint as Guardians of your children.

Finally, it’s a good idea to think about what you own and how much it’s worth. This is important in considering possible Inheritance Tax liability.

Our Wills and Probate Solicitors

The team at Hepburn Delaney are experts in Wills and Probate and can draw up a legally binding Will for you, as well as assist you with any legal questions you may have regarding making a Will. Contact us today on 01442218090 to find out more.