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Legal News | 12.08.21

Wills in the 21st Century – Part III


The Parent Trap

Did you know that 60% of the adult population in the UK does not have a Will? This means that three in every five adults have made no provision for what should happen to their estate in the event of their death.

For those adults without a Will, who also happen to be parents (or parents-to-be) to children under the age of 18, the implications of not having a Will should not be ignored.

Who will administer my estate?

If you die without a Will, leaving only children under 18, those children will, legally speaking, be too young to deal with the administration of your estate.  Instead, a third party will need to take up the role of administrator.  If no other family members exist, then the decision as to who will act can be a complicated one.  By appointing an executor under the terms of your Will, this uncertainty can be removed and unnecessary delays avoided.

When will my children inherit my estate?

Children who inherit under an intestacy will do so at the age of 18.  Many parents may see this as too young an age at which to inherit a considerable sum. In contrast, a Will can be drafted so that not only can the age of inheritance be deferred to say 21 or 25 or beyond, but a Will also offers the opportunity to appoint trustees to look after your children’s inheritance until they are old enough to receive it.

Who will look after my children if I am not around?

If both parents die before their child reaches 18 then a decision will need to be made as to who will have responsibility for that child going forward. If you opt to write a Will then you can appoint one or more guardians to look after your child(ren) in the event of both parents’ deaths.  If, however, you both die leaving no Will, the decision will be made by the Court. Choosing the right person to look after your children in the event of your death is an important decision and there is no guarantee that the Court will choose the same people that you would have chosen.  A Will can provide peace of mind.

If you are a parent or parent-to-be who would like to discuss making a Will or updating your existing Will, then please get in touch with your usual contact or email us at wealth@wansbroughs.com.


Posted By Our Wills, Tax, Trusts & Probate Team