ASK THE EXPERT – “I’m a separated parent, what happens if my children are under 18 at the time of my death?”

Alison

Each week we are taking questions from our clients and contacts.  This week Mr White from Sheffield asks:

“I’m a separated parent, what happens if my children are under 18 at the time of my death? Who will look after them and/or any money I may leave to them?”

The Head of our Wills and Probate Department, Alison Gregory, answers:

“If you’re a single parent then making a Will could be one of the most important things you do when planning for your children’s future. Like all parents you want the best for your children.

For some, the surviving parent will inevitably step up and care for any children full time.  However, with ever changing family dynamics and circumstances, this may not always be appropriate.

A Will is vital in ensuing that your children are provided for, not only in respect of their care but in protecting any assets(money) you may leave to them.

Without a Will the Law of Intestacy will apply.  A child under 18 cannot be appointed as Executor and cannot access any assets until they come of age.  In a nutshell that means that it would be the responsibility of the surviving parent/guardian to administer your Estate.    You will have no control over this.  This could be terrifying if your children are estranged from the surviving parent, or in the event of parental conflict.

If you make a Will you can nominate someone to administer your Estate on behalf of any child and safeguard any funds for them.

If you don’t make a Will then this decision will be left in the hands of other people, this could leave your children in limbo while decisions and arrangements are made.”

You can contact Alison and her team on 0114 3583134 or email us via our contact page

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** IMPORTANT – COVID-19 **

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