Most people think of Wills as legal documents that give directions on how their property and assets are distributed when they die. And while this is important, if you’re a parent there are other more pressing reasons to consider making a Will without delay.
In fact, writing a Will is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. It’s the only way to make a truly comprehensive plan for your child’s security if life takes an unexpected turn and you’re no longer there to care for them.
As any parent will tell you, living in the moment is something that having kids forces on you without much choice. From cooking, cleaning, toys and tantrums, it's a type of crazy chaos that pulls you in a hundred different directions and at the very same time calls on you to be more organised than ever before. And of course, living your life from day to day with young children can take your focus off the future.
A staggering 57% of Australian parents don’t have Wills.
Considering the challenges of running a family, this statistic might come as no surprise. But if this is you, by putting a Will in the “too hard basket”, you’re needlessly placing your family’s wellbeing and financial security in a vulnerable position.
As a savvy Mum or Dad, you know deep down that planning is crucial. And making a Will, as distant as the need for it may seem right now, is an important part of that plan.
Why do you need to make a Will when you have kids?
Here are some of the most important reasons:
1. Appointing a guardian should be your choice
Making a Will for guardianship and having control over who cares for your kids is the number one reason for parents to have a valid Will. Without a Will, if your children’s other parent isn’t alive or fit to be a guardian, the question of who takes care of them will be left entirely to the courts to decide.
In these circumstances, anyone can make an application to become the guardian for your children - irrespective of whether you would have chosen them yourself.
As a parent you have the best appreciation of your children’s individual needs and strong feelings about who the best caregivers for them will be. By making a Will your instructions are clear. You can rest easy knowing that your kids will be taken care of in the way you intended.
And more importantly, starting the process of making a Will allows you to carefully consider all the issues which impact your children’s lifestyle and welfare. It prompts you to open up a conversation with your chosen guardian on all the details of how you’d like your children to be raised.
2. Making a Will secures your family’s financial future
Most people assume that if they don’t make a Will, their estate automatically goes to their partner and children after they’re gone.
The real story is more complicated because without a Will the administration of your Estate is completely governed by your state or territory’s intestacy laws. This can have a similar outcome to what you would have planned for in a Will but it’s not guaranteed by any means.
In reality, your ability to secure your children’s financial future is taken away from you when you leave your end of life planning to chance. It may be the case that unwanted beneficiaries are given some of your assets against your wishes. Or that people who have a legal claim to your Estate get priority ahead of those you need to protect.
On top of all the stresses that not having a Will creates for parents, outside administration of your Estate may give rise to unnecessary costs and delays which detract from the value of your estate.
3. Making a Will has never been easier or more affordable
It’s never been more simple or affordable for you to write a Will, and Safewill’s online Will service makes it more accessible than ever before.
We replace the costs and complications of seeing a lawyer (and the uncertainty of using DIY kits) with an easy step by step process that:
So whatever stage of parenthood you’re at - drowning in a sea of nappies and Lego, or planning graduation parties - making a Will is something you really shouldn’t put off any longer. You can get started with Safewill today.