What happens to my children if I die without a will?

According to the childhood bereavement network around 41,000 children in the UK were bereaved of a parent in 2015, that’s 112 newly bereaved children every day.

There are many child-related issues that keep a parent awake at night, the hunger strikes of a 3 year old, the guilt over him not getting his 5-a-day quota and the endless tantrums that are capable of waking sleeping beauty from her 100 year nap. But actually, the one burning topic in the back of any parents’ head that is all too frequently ignored– writing a Will, and more importantly appointing a guardian.

Most would admit that the thought of having to ‘choose a family member to look after my child in the event of my death’ is enough to make anyone want to hide under the pile of socks to be paired. And it seems they are not alone, more than half of the UK population are guilty of not having a will in place. With that being said, you potentially could unknowingly be putting your children at risk of lengthy court battles, family disputes and potentially even foster care.

The one thing that seems to be holding people back from making a will is the worry that it’ll set you back thousands, reality is that here at Everystep Financial you can make a single Will for just £125.00, meaning that suddenly the thought of a will doesn’t seem quite so scary when you consider the chance element of who could hold the keys to your child’s future and a little one in turmoil.

Choosing a Guardian

Choosing a guardian can be an extremely daunting thing to have to think about, with all the questions racing through your mind, and emotions can sometimes cloud your ability to see what is best for your children, and for the guardians. Our experienced team will always encourage you to think about some of the criteria that we see as the most important, in choosing the right guardians for your children.

The emotional, financial and social implications of becoming a guardian should be considered when choosing a guardian.

  • Would the child/children have to move schools or area? – sometimes necessary to give them the quality of life with the correct guardian.
  • Does your child know the guardian well and feel safe and comfortable in their home and amongst their family?
  • Can the guardian support the child/children financially?
  • Crucially – will the guardian bring your children up with a similar moral upbringing as you would.
  • Do they have other children and could they manage adding more children into their home – especially so, a grieving child/children?

So what happens if I don’t have a will?

Dying intestate (without a will in place) means that potentially your estate and your children’s guardian’s will be in the hands of the law, decided by people who know nothing about their personal circumstances. The court will consider the child’s welfare above anything else, the pro’s and con’s will all be considered and ultimately, they will decide upon an arrangement that can meet the physical and emotional needs of each individual child, this decision can take time, meaning that your children could potentially be put into foster care until a decision is made.

There could be times its considered best for a child to live with another family member instead, the child’s wishes will be considered but with this comes the weight of choice dependant on the child’s age and maturity levels. For many a concern that a child will be sent to live with a parent who they’ve had little or no contact with, losing contact with family members who might normally play an important role in their life.

No-one especially the child, needs the stress of a bitter court battle when they are grieving the loss of a parent already, unfortunately in these highly emotional times both sides believe that they are doing what the deceased parent would have wanted, and a child is caught up in the middle of it all.

Ensuring the children are taken care of financially

Imagine suddenly having to take on 3 more young children, you know that you could love these children as if they were your own but how would you manage financially? The financial strain could mean that your own children’s lives will no longer be financially sustainable, putting immense pressure and stress on everyone involved.

Ensuring the estate that you leave is in trust and that there is a suitable life insurance policy in place, this will prevent the financial strain becoming an issue, meaning that all your chosen guardians need to be concerned about, is most importantly….the care of your child.

Especially important for unmarried couples with children is putting a will in place, the rules of intestacy mean that your partner will not receive anything from the estate, meaning that any monies could be tied up in trust for your children making it difficult for the surviving parent to give the children the financial stability that they are accustomed to. This could also potentially result in either the partner or children being disinherited further down the line.

Its important to seek the advice of a professional Will writing service to ensure that there are no mistakes, at Everystep Financial we can guide you through the process, giving you clear advice explaining the jargon and leaving you confident that your wishes are in place. We can also help you establish a suitable life insurance product to take care of the finances, knowing you are fully protected should the worst happen means you can get back on with worrying about how many of the five-a-day your toddler has achieved!

At Everystep Financial we have a team of dedicated experienced Will Writers to guide you through the process of getting your Will in place.

Prices start from just £125 for a standard Will

Everystep Financial,
6 Ashcombe Road,
BS23 3DY

01934 550046


EveryStep Financial

EveryStep Financial