Will writing for new parents Writing a will with your children in mind

Coins jar

You will need to think about providing financial security for your children's future.  

As a new parent, it can be hard to know where to start when writing your will. It's not easy thinking about your own death, but there are a number of important decisions to be made around your children and your financial assets. 

Below we've got expert advice on what you need to consider when writing a will as a new parent.

Visit the Which? Wills website for more advice on writing your will online. The advice below applies to England and Wales. 

Writing the best will for your children 

1. Appointing a guardian - Think carefully about who you would appoint as a guardian in the event that you and your partner were to die. You should know that the appointment of a guardian automatically ends when your children reach the age of 18.

2. Cost of bringing up your children - Think about how you could make arrangements to cover the expenses of bringing up your children in the event of your death. 

3. Assets written in trust - Remember that certain assets, such as pension benefits, life insurance policies and some investments, are usually written in trust. This means that, on your death, these assets pass to the beneficiaries of the trust and do not pass under the terms of your will. If you want to change the beneficiaries you will need to contact the asset providers separately.    

4. Trust beneficiaries - Make sure you factor in the money that the trust beneficiaries will receive when writing your will. For example, if a large policy is written in trust for your partner, they may not need a large legacy from your will as well.

5. Inheritance - Consider at what age you want your children to benefit from your will. Unless the will says otherwise, they will automatically inherit at 18. You might think 18 is too young an age to expect your children to be financially responsible and can set a higher age if you wish.   

6. Inheritance under 18 - Before your child inherits at the age of 18 (or any later age stated in your will), the inheritance is held on trust. This means that the people you have appointed in your will as Trustees will hold the inheritance for the benefit of your children on whatever terms you set out in the will.

7. Providing for your step children - You should consider providing for your step children. They won’t automatically benefit from your will unless you specifically include them.

8. Providing for your family - Think about how you will balance the competing needs of all members of your family after your death. You need to feel confident that your estate will provide for your partner, children, step children and any other people or organisations that you wish to benefit.

9. Marrying or entering into civil partnership - If you are considering marrying or entering into a civil partnership, you should be aware that any existing will is automatically revoked unless it states that this will not be the case. You can include a clause in your will stating that you anticipate marrying your named fiancé(e) and that the will is to be effective both before and after your marriage.

Which? Wills offers you a straightforward and time-efficient solution to putting your affairs in order. You can write a single will for £89 and a will for you and your partner for £149. Your online wills questionnaire will be checked thoroughly by our will experts, who will then send it to you with full instructions on how to get your will signed and witnessed.   

More on this...