By Colin Barrett, Group Director at Ancojada Group
Last week our youngest daughter gave birth to a wonderful baby boy, her first born child. 😊 Naturally we are all so delighted about the latest addition to our family, he is precious and perfect, as all children are.
As my daughter lives in New Zealand it isn’t possible for my wife Jan and I to see and hold our new grandson right now. So, once we had recovered from a night of little sleep waiting on his arrival, and the inevitable lack of sleep “hangover” that followed, my practical and protective “Grandpa Brain” started to work overtime about what we could do for our new “wee man”.
As any of you who know me, or have read my posts on the subject in the past, will know; I am a bit of an evangelist about the importance for people to make wills. So, it is perhaps unsurprising that I have already advised daughter and son-in-law that, young as they are, we really need to get them sorted with a will without delay.
I know that when most people think about wills, it is the gifting of assets that pre-occupies them, the passing of wealth from generation to generation. But for a young family there is perhaps an even more important reason; to choose and appoint guardians for your new baby. I have still to find out the system in New Zealand, but here in the UK…if the parents of a young child were to die without appointing guardians, then the default position is that the child would initially be placed in the care of social services. No matter what the remaining family members might decide in such circumstances, no family member (or close and trusted friend) can simply take on responsibility for looking after and caring for the bereaved child. The best way of ensuring that a child who tragically loses their parents will be looked after by those that their parents would choose is to make a will with a clear declaration of who those people should be.
While we are thinking about the future care of children it is also worth adding that simply appointing guardians is not really enough, you should also consider how the care of the child (or children) will be paid for. Of course their may be enough wealth or assets in the family to cover the costs of raising the children but if not, is it really fair to expect guardians to absorb the costs? Perhaps it would be appropriate the parents to think about arranging some life insurance that could be used for this purpose?
All of this may not be the most romantic of notions when it comes to thinking of the new additions to your family, but for sure it is a very important thing to plan for. Of course we all hope that any such planning ends up being totally unnecessary, but as with a lot of planning, it is far better to have it and not need it, than the alternative!
A new born baby may possibly be the best, certainly the happiest, of reasons for making a new will so I would urge you to consider whether you, or anyone in your family, might want to consider this?
Next week we will look at some of the other reasons why people make a will; there are a multitude of reasons why people do so.
Have you made a will? If so, what was the main reason that led you to do so? I would love to hear from you about your own experience.
Now, I am off to take another look at the new family album….thank heavens for social media!
Cheers for now :-)
Group Director, Ancojada Group
Ancojada Limited is not authorised or regulated to provide financial advice.
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