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Guardianship and making provisions for your children in your Will

Your Will is a powerful and important documents for many reasons. The main reason often given for making one is that the Testator- the person making the Will- wants to protect their assets from losses. They may just want to give themselves greater control over what happens to their estate after they’re gone.

However, an often under-appreciated reason for making a Will is the ability to appoint guardians within one.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is the person a parent appoints to look after their young children (under 18) should anything happen that prevents them from doing so themselves. They may be close relatives such as the child’s grandparents, or even trusted friends. Crucially, the only place to legally nominate guardians is within a Will.

Why is it so important to have them?

Without making a Will, and therefore without nominating guardians, your young children may be left in a difficult position should anything happen to you and their other parent. They may be placed within the social care system whilst the law finds suitable guardians for them. This may result in your children staying in care longer than they need to, or worse- the law appointing somebody that you absolutely did not want to be your children’s guardian, such as an estranged relative!

How easy is it to do?

It couldn’t be simpler. Whilst making your Will with Accord Legal Services, you will be asked about any children you have, including their age and any plans you have for future children. If applicable, you will be asked about your choice of guardian; this will be written into your Will at no extra cost.

For advice on your Will tailored to your circumstances, call Accord today, on 01744 807048.

Planning ahead- your funeral and your Will

For many people, death can be an uncomfortable topic of conversation; perhaps this is why so many of us have yet to make a Will. However, as anybody who has lost a relative will know, losing somebody is even more emotionally challenging if the right preparations haven’t been made.

Nobody knows what’s around the corner; we’ve talked at length in previous articles about how important it is to make your Will to protect your assets and your loved ones, but did you know that you can also make funeral arrangements in your Will?

Have the conversation early

The conversation about your funeral should not be put off until it’s too late. On the surface, a funeral may seem straightforward enough, but there is much to consider; what would you like to happen to your body? Would you like to donate your organs? What are the plans for after the service?

If you know the answers to these questions already, it is in your best interests to discuss your wishes with somebody you trust, to give you the peace of mind that your wishes will be acted upon.

Your decision

If you know what you’d like for your funeral, it’s important that your voice is heard. By planning for your funeral in your Will, you are providing your loved ones with a permanent record of your wishes, one that cannot be altered or revoked by anybody except you. This ensures your funeral is your decision, and that your wishes will be heard when the time comes.

You should also record your wishes on a separate document, advising someone you trust that the document exists. This can help to give your wishes more legitimacy having been recorded separately as well as in your Will. Ensure that this document can be verified as yours!

Keep your loved ones updated

A Will should certainly be a private document, but it’s important to let those closest to you know that you have one and where it can be found after you’re gone. You could create the perfect Will that states your wishes to the letter, but if it can’t be found when the time comes, it’s useless!

Always keep your Will in a safe place; Accord can even store your Will for you, keeping it safe and secure until the time comes.

What next?

if you’ve still not made a Will, it’s vital to act sooner rather than later. If you’ve made your Will already, ensure you keep it up to date with your funeral wishes.

Whether it’s to make a new Will or review an existing one, Accord Legal Services can help. Give us a call today, on 01744 807048.

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