It’s been a busy few weeks at ORCA HQ, not only have we been battling with the joys of business in the new norm of Covid, we have introduced a third human to our POD 😊 It brings me great pleasure to say that my wife gave birth (at home) to a gorgeous healthy baby boy a few weeks ago. So, I think it’s only fair to let you know what this means to OUR Wills 😊
Before…………Basically my wife and I gave everything to each other if one of us passed; if we both passed together, we split our estate in a variety of ways to a variety of people. It was a very simple Will with no ‘protection’ after death.
Now………….We still wish to give each other the use of the entire estate if one of us was to die, however we now want to add some protection into the Wills to ensure our child benefits from the estate on 2nd death no matter what. How do we do that I hear you ask? Simple……A Life Interest Trust.
What do we want to achieve?
We want to make sure that if one of us dies, the other is left with as few debts and stresses possible, but, we now wish for our child to benefit from the estate on the death of the 2nd person and that our child is looked after and cared for by the people we decide. Ultimately, our main priority and motivation for having a will is to protect our little bundle of pooping joy, if we are not around to do so.
What are we wanting to avoid?
At our age there are a couple of things we want to avoid. The most important thing we want to AVOID are any uncertainties regarding our wishes should we both die. Any uncertainties can cause huge stress on the family and friends we leave behind. With that in mind, the top priority is to state clearly (through a Will) who we want to look after our little man (legal guardianship), but also, who will be responsible for looking after his ‘estate’ until he gets to an age we decide is appropriate. This helps to avoid any he said, she said disputes about the welfare of our child.
This is easy if the scenario means that both my wife and I die at the same time! What happens if I die first, then 5-10 years later my wife dies? If I died yesterday, I would want my wife and child to be happy and carry on living life to the fullest. It may sound strange to say, but I would want my wife to meet someone else and even remarry (if that makes her happy). That being said, I want to AVOID this new fella getting any of my estate! In my job I see this ‘sideways disinheritance’ scenario far too often. Especially when it is easily AVOIDable.
How do we do it?
First things first……WE UPDATE OUR WILLS! But as well as that we have bolstered up our Life Insurances to ensure our mortgage is covered should one of us pass (We can assist you with Life Insurance and Critical Illness if you are sitting here thinking……wow that makes sense!).
Secondly, we add a Life Interest Trust into our Wills which states (in simple terms) ‘the survivor can live in and benefit from the deceased share of the property for their life time, however they cannot do anything to negatively impact the value of the deceased half for the beneficiary (our child).’ Essentially is means that if my wife was to re-marry, she cannot leave my half of the property to her new family; my half will always end up with MY child.
If you have children under the age of 18, you are in a relationship and you own property, you need to be speaking to me about getting the above elements written into your Will. If you are reading this with children under 18 and you DO NOT have a simple Will stating guardianship, you really do need to chat to me about getting a Will in place. I have always been passionate about ensuring young families are protected regarding guardianship within their Wills, but now I am a father, I now feel even more passionate.
The fact I offer free consultations and reviews of Wills for young families really gives you no excuse. Give me a call and let’s talk nappies, insomnia and Wills 😊