19th Feb 2020

Why is it important for parents to make a will?

When you’re knee deep in nappies and getting by on an hour and a half of sleep, planning for the future will almost certainly be one of the last things on your mind!

It can be daunting to think of something as morbid as making a Will when you are celebrating a new life in your family, but as I discovered, making one now can give you peace of mind that your little one’s future is safe guarded.

So grab a coffee (make it a strong one – you know you need it) and have a read about how making plans with Berwins during that first hectic year with a sleep thief new baby helped me.

Who looks after your child if you’re no longer around? 

Our baby boy was born in March 2019 and, once the fog of colic, allergies and sleepless nights had lifted a little, I started to think seriously about what would happen to him if, God forbid, something were to happen to me and my husband. Where would he live? Who would look after him?

A Will – something we’d never really looked at before – then started to sound very sensible. By making one, we were able to choose guardians for our son. Clearly setting out who would look after him if we weren’t around took a huge weight off my shoulders. There could be no questions or arguments, we made a decision and it was written right there in our Will and I felt reassured knowing that my baby would go somewhere safe if anything happened.

That, for me, was the most important part of making a Will.

What assets go into a Will? 

When we met Gareth at Berwins, we said we didn’t really have much of an estate but wanted a Will so that we could choose guardians. With his help, however we discovered we actually did have things to leave behind that we hadn’t even thought of.

We were focusing on what we had now – a house and a couple of cars – but hadn’t thought of things like death in service benefit, life insurance policies or pensions. It transpired that, although small, we did have an estate to pass on and knowing that we had set out terms in our Wills on how this should be dealt with, again, was a relief.

We were also able to make provisions for other family members and made some specific gifts – a legacy left in the Will leaving a particular item or items to someone in particular. We were even able to say who we wanted to look after our dog!

What should new parents include in a Will?

Now might be a nice point to have a gulp of coffee (if it’s still hot) and just check that your child isn’t pulling a side table over onto themselves – been there!

If you are thinking of making a Will, it can be helpful to make a list of things you might want to include. What assets do you have? A house? Savings accounts? Anything of value which you own, stick it on your list.

Have a think about who you would want as executor – the people responsible for administering your estate. It could be friends or family, it’s entirely up to you.

If anything were to happen, who would you want taking care of your child? This can be a hard decision and can be tough to think about, but once you have made a choice, you’ll feel much happier knowing that someone you trust is going to be there for them. Top tip: best to ask your nominated person/people to make sure they are happy to be guardians!

Get in touch

If you’ve got any questions about how preparing for the future helped me and my family, then feel free to drop me an email at RachaelWilliamson@berwins.co.uk. If you’d like to make a Will give Berwins’ Life team a call on 01423 543102 and we will be happy to help.

If you can’t get a babysitter, we advocate a BYOB policy – Bring Your Own Baby! 

Rachael Williamson is a Mum and a Legal Assistant in Berwins' Life team.  

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