New Baby - do I need a will?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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ParadiseKiddParadiseKidd Forumite
62 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
Hi,

I'm due to give birth in 6 days, and started wondering about who would care for our baby if my partner or I die. I'm 21 and don't have a will / life insurance etc. and rent our house privately. I don't think there is any life insurance in my contents insurance policy or anything.

I know my partner is insured for death against the money he owes to the bank but I also know he doesn't have a will or life insurance.

What do I need to do to ensure that our baby would be ok if anything happened to us, and what is the most MSE way of doing this? Obviously we have very little money with baby on the way!

I'm really struggling to say who I'd like baby to be brought up by if we died, as the only people I know who I'd think are good enough are my own parents :rolleyes: They are in their early 50's and really fit and healthy - would it still be appropriate to list them as the desired guardians, and where does this information 'go' anyway?!

Hopefully someone can explain how all these things are usually sorted out!

Thanks xxx

Replies

  • In simple terms Paradise - yes you do. Sounds like you are not married and although your partner should now have parental responsibility for your child automatically, it would make life simpler if you both made Wills setting out what will happen to your child if (heaven forbid) you and partner are not available to care for him or her. I've seen relatives squabbling over a child in that situation and it ain't pretty.

    I would say it is worth spending the money with a knowledgable solicitor or qualified Will Writer. After all - you might win the lottery next week!

    Where is localhero when we need him?

    Mrs P P
    "Keep your dreams as clean as silver..." John Stewart (1939-2008)
  • my hubby is a solicitor and always says dont get a diy kit as they are rubbish go to a proper solicitor and get 1 done!
  • localherolocalhero Forumite
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    Hi ParadiseKidd,

    If you are unmarried then it is important that you both make a Will, otherwise you are not automatically entitled to inherit in the event of your partner dying.

    If your partner is named on the birth certificate he will have parental responsibility, but in the event of both of you dying before your child is 18 you should appoint guardians in your Will.

    Your choice should be based on what would be best for child. If your mother would be suitable (and more importantly agrees) then there is no reason why you shouldn't appoint her.

    You could also have a second choice written in in case she's unable to act at the time.

    I would agree, DIY is not recommended - though you don't necessarily need to visit a solicitor either.

    Visit the Institute of Professional Willwriters at www.ipw.org.uk to find a member in your area who is regulated, qualfied and insured and likely to offer a home visit for no additional cost.
    [FONT=&quot]Public wealth warning![/FONT][FONT=&quot] It's not compulsory for solicitors or Willwriters to pass an exam in writing Wills - probably the most important thing you’ll ever sign.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Membership of the Institute of Professional Willwriters is acquired by passing an entrance exam and complying with an OFT endorsed code of practice, and I declare myself a member.[/FONT]
  • onlyrozonlyroz Forumite
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    You can appoint your mother as your child's legal guardian if you want, and if she's fit, healthy and willing then I see no reason why not. If the situation changes in the future (e.g. when she gets elderly) then you can change the guardian to someone else (e.g. a sibling or close friend).
  • moneypoohmoneypooh Forumite
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    We did this last year 14 years late but did do it eventually. We have appointed close friends as guardians to both our children. Being a guardian doesn't mean they will have them permanently but they will help decide their future.
    I know that parents seem the most obvious choice but you may have friends that you can trust and this doesn't put a strain on family at a difficult time. Let's face it if anything happens they aren't exactly going to be thinking straight for a while. This happened to friends of the family and the children stayed with them until things were sorted. It was decided that the grandparents would take over, but it did give some breathing space and let the children stay with other children that were friends.
    Everyone and every family is different so you'll need to decide which route to take, friends or family.

    It's a weird feeling writing a will and making these decisions but your brilliant for getting it sorted now. Believe me it will give you peace of mind.
  • Thanks everyone for all your advice - this is something I really want to get sorted now!

    As you can imagine my own 21 year old friends are not really suitable guardians at all and it would be unfair to ask, neither is my 24 year old brother :eek: and there isn't a single one of my partners close friends or family who would be really suitable, even the ones I really like. We do have some closer 'couple friends' I trust who could take the 'guardian' role, and my mum and dad have already said they would be completely happy to 'take over' should it ever happen - I know they mean it too. They're really the only people who i could be 100% sure would try to provide the environment my partner and I would like our baby to grow up in :rolleyes:

    Out of interest, what is a reasonable amount to expect to pay for a will service? I need to work out where the moneys going to come from, and I really have no idea at all how much these things cost.

    Thanks again :D
  • Oh, I will just add we will be getting married in due course, as soon as possible actually! And my OH will be named on the birth certificate - I really want him to have equal parental responsibility to me if thats possible.
  • Sami_BeeSami_Bee Forumite
    14.6K Posts
    on a side note paradise to save yourself £3.50 don't get a "full" birth certificate when you register your baby (unless you need to get the baby a passport before your marriage) as this will need replacing when you re-register your child once you are married

    If your partner is named on the birth cert he will have equal parental responsibility to you unless you later get any court judgements to change that
    The very best is sometimes what nature gives us for free.
    3onitsway wrote: »
    I think Sami is right, as always!
  • localherolocalhero Forumite
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    ParadiseKidd,

    Expect to pay in the region of £120 - £150 for both Wills from a competent Willwriting professional.
    [FONT=&quot]Public wealth warning![/FONT][FONT=&quot] It's not compulsory for solicitors or Willwriters to pass an exam in writing Wills - probably the most important thing you’ll ever sign.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Membership of the Institute of Professional Willwriters is acquired by passing an entrance exam and complying with an OFT endorsed code of practice, and I declare myself a member.[/FONT]
  • Thanks everyone - sorry its taken me a few days to get back and check the posts!! I'm onto it pronto :D
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