Why Every Parent Should Have a Will

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that life is unpredictable. While most of don’t want to think about passing away some day, the fact is that it’s inevitable and it’s absolutely vital to have valid Will in place, especially if you have children that depend on you. Should the unthinkable happen, and both you and your partner die, it’s important to ensure that your children will have the support they need, both financially and emotionally. An experienced family lawyer (Melbourne’s Robert Wood and Associates) will be able to assist you in every element of Wills and Estates, including writing, revising, and challenging a Will. Here’s a few reasons why all parents need a Will.

You Can Appoint a Legal Guardian

In estate planning, a legal guardian is a trusted adult who is designated to look after minor children in the event that both parents die. A legal guardian becomes your child’s primary carer until they turn 18. Without a Will, if both parents pass away, or if the surviving parent isn’t fit to be a guardian, the question of who takes care of them will be left entirely to the courts to decide.

The legal guardian is responsible for making decisions in the best interests of the child concerning their wellbeing, maintenance, and development, essentially taking over your role as a parent. They will need to make choices regarding:

  • Everyday care of the children, including housing, feeding, and disciplining.
  • Their upbringing including education, healthcare, and spiritual practices.

In most cases, the appointed guardian will also act as a trustee for any assets and property left for the children. It is the guardian’s responsibility to protect these assets until the children reach the age that their parents decided was appropriate for them to take control of the assets.

You Can Secure Your Child’s Future

Many people assume that if they don’t make a Will, their estate automatically goes to their partner and children in the event of their death. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Without a Will the administration of your Estate is governed by your state or territory’s intestacy laws. While this can have a similar outcome to what you would have planned, it is not guaranteed.

Preparing a Will is the only way you can make sure your children will be looked after financially. You can leave money or assets to a partner or guardian of minor children, or directly to your children if they are of age. You can also decide if receive everything at the age of inheritance, or if you would prefer to set up a trust. This allows you to control how and when your assets are given to your children. Instead of having unconstrained access to their inheritance, the funds held in the trust are controlled by another person to be allocated as you see fit throughout your children’s lifetimes.

If you’re a new parent, or you have children but have never gotten around to making a Will, you should make an appointment with a family lawyer today. Even if you have a Will in place, It’s also a good idea to update it if you have more children, or if you have undergone any big life changes (such as a separation or divorce).

Get in Touch for Personalised Legal Services

If you need to create or update a Will, or you need property conveyancing lawyers, or even a power of attorney lawyer, Melbourne is home to Robert Wood and Associates. With over 30 years’ experience, we specialise in several areas of law, and with a range of cost-effective services, our aim is for you to have the best professional legal service and advice that you can afford. Call us today on 03 9762 3877 or contact us online now.

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