Putting a plan in place for your children’s future will mean different things to different people. But there are some basic legal and financial steps that will make life a lot easier for your children if you were ever to become ill or die unexpectedly.
Putting together a plan for your children’s future like this might not be cheery – but talking about what would happen to your children if you died won’t make it happen, but it will mean you’re better prepared – just in case.
Sorting this out has always felt like a headache waiting to happen. Until now.
We’ve laid out some top tips that will take the pain out of this process and save you time, money and stress so you can get back to the important stuff.
Find out how prepared you are already
This is a quick way to find out how to plan for your children’s future.
Muddled about whether you need a will? Wondering if you actually need life insurance? Confused by power of attorney. You’re not alone, it can feel overwhelming, time-consuming and expensive. You’re busy juggling other things, so it drops down the to-do list.
The good news is that our partner, Guardian Angel has the answer for you. They’ve put together a free 1-minute quiz to help you work out how organised you are, and what else still needs to be sorted.
Quick! Take the free 1-minute quiz today.
How it works:
You answer a few easy questions. This takes most people 1 minute to complete.
You get a preparedness score. Like a credit score, but for death. It’s calculated based on the actions you’ve taken, alongside your life situation. For example, if you own a house, have children or a partner, certain actions will be even more important than if you don’t have these dependents.
You find out how you can improve. See what actions are recommended for you. You can even get them sorted then and there with Guardian Angel’s online planning tools, boosting your score and helping to make planning simple.
Take the free 1 minute quiz now.
What are the other ways you can protect your children’s future?
There are some basic legal and financial actions that can protect your children’s future when they’d need it the most.
- Write a will and name your children as your beneficiaries
- Appoint a guardian for your children
- Get life insurance
- Appoint a lasting power of attorney
These actions apply to the majority of parents, but this list isn’t exhaustive, there are plenty of other things you might want to do in order to protect your children’s future.
Find out which of these you need here.
2. Write a will and name your children as your beneficiaries
What is a will?
Your will, or your Last Will and Testament, is a legally binding document that lays out your wishes after you’ve died. It needs to be signed with a witness to be legally binding.
If you have children, your will is where you can name your children as the beneficiaries of your estate and legal assets.
If you’re a homeowner your will is the only place you can say who you’d like to inherit your home – and the same applies to any money, savings or possession that you have.
If you’re in a relationship, but aren’t in a civil partnership or married then they don’t have any automatic rights if anything were to happen to you, your will is the place where you can put a plan in place to make life easier for them.
Who needs to do this:
Take the quiz and find out if you need to write a will.
Broadly, writing a will is important if any of the following apply to you:
- You’re a parent or legal guardian
- You’re a homeowner
- If you have a partner
- If you’ve recently got married
- If you’ve recently got divorced
When should you write a will?
Did you know that the government recommends that we should update our will every 5 years?
But it’s especially important to write a will when you have children, buy a home, commit to a partner, get married, or get divorced – especially if you haven’t got one in place already.
Historically it’s been expensive and tricky to update your will. But life changes and wills should too. Guardian Angel’s online will service allows you to update your will for free for the first year and for only £10 a year after that.
Why should you write a will?
Deciding what happens to your family and loved ones and the things you’ve worked hard for is usually the kind of thing most people want to have a say in.
Writing your will allows you to do just that. Dying without a will in place is called dying intestate and it can leave your family with added costs (£9,700 on average), additional paperwork and unnecessary squabbles, stresses and headaches at an already difficult time.
The good news is that you can write your will online in the UK with Guardian Angel. We provide on-hand legal support and an easy step-by-step process. It only takes 15 minutes and it’s sort-from-the-sofa friendly. It only costs £90, saving you around £210 compared to other providers.
Start writing your online will today.
3. Appoint a guardian for your children
What is a legal guardian?
Appointing a legal guardian allows you to have a say in who would look after your children if you were no longer around.
Most often this is laid out in your will.
Did you know that 69% of parents have not yet named guardians for their kids?
Who needs to appoint a legal guardian?
Unsure? Find out if you need to appoint a guardian for your children in your will here.
But in a nutshell, parents or legal guardians should appoint guardians for their children. This is especially important for single parents or guardians.
How we parent is unique to us – but there are probably friends and relatives in our lives who would be more similar to us than others. Some people want to keep that kind of continuity for their children if the worst were to happen. Other things to consider are where they live and their financial ability to take on additional dependents.
How do I appoint a guardian for my children?
You can appoint a guardian for your children in your online will.
There is no time quite like the present. And when it only takes 15 minutes to sort from home as part of writing your online will, there’s no reason to put it off. Appoint your guardians in your online will today here.
What happens to my children if I die?
If your children’s other parent was still alive, usually they’d automatically become the guardian (unless there’s a legal reason why this wouldn’t be the case). But if something was to happen to you as a single parent, or to you and your partner then your children would be looked after by the guardians that you’d appointed. If both parents were to die before appointing a guardian, the courts will appoint one instead. Usually, this is a close relative, but it may not necessarily be the person you would choose – which is why it’s worth having a say in such a big decision.
4. Get life insurance.
What is life insurance?
Life insurance is a way of making sure that your children’s financial future would be looked after even if you’re no longer around. It can help provide financial stability and continuity at a time when everything else will feel like it’s changed, helping give your family one less thing to worry about.
Do all parents need life insurance?
Take the quiz and find out if you need life insurance.
Not every parent will need life insurance. But, if your children’s future would be impacted financially if you were to die or become terminally ill unexpectedly, then life insurance is probably worth considering. Find out more about who does and doesn’t need life insurance here.
Did you know that a study from Halifax found that parents of children aged up to 11 spend an average of £448.41 a month per child?
When do you need life insurance?
Life insurance probably isn’t no. 1 on your priority list. But if you know that you are wanting to get it at some point in the future then there is an argument for sorting it today. Why? – Well it will save you ££.
Generally, the younger you are the more affordable your life insurance will be. Fact.
The average monthly premium for life insurance increases the older you are.
That means that sorting it early can save you money in the long run, as well as ensuring you’re protected for longer.
Alternatively, these are the moments when people are most likely to need life insurance.
- When you have children or become a guardian
- When you buy a house
- When you rent a home with someone else who wouldn’t be able to cover the payments if you were unable to contribute because of terminal illness (and being unable to work) or if you were to die
- When you enter into joint financial commitments with a partner
- When you become self-employed
- When you take on any loans or debts
Why get life insurance?
If anything were to happen to you, the last thing the people you love want to think about is money. Life insurance gives them one less thing to worry about, by providing whoever you’ve chosen with a lump sum payment if you were to die or become terminally ill, (making it tricky to work). This can help make sure that your children are looked after and that they can maintain a level of continuity for their future whilst everything else changes.
The good news is that when you apply to get life insurance with Guardian Angel it doesn’t have to take all day. Only 15 minutes in fact. And it’s all sort-from-the-sofa friendly. All online, no medical appointments, no cold calls – just simply enter your details.
Apply for life insurance today.
5. Appoint a lasting power of attorney
What is a lasting power of attorney?
A lasting power of attorney form or an LPA is a legal document that allows someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you were unable to for whatever reason. There are two LPAs. One covers your financial affairs including any property and the other covers your health and welfare including medical decisions.
They need to be signed with a witness before being submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian to be legal.
Who needs an LPA?
Take the quiz and find out if you need an LPA.
But, pretty much everyone above the age of 25 should have a lasting power of attorney. It becomes more important when you have children when someone else would need to make decisions quickly if you weren’t able to.
Why is an LPA important?
We can’t predict the future, you may never need it but if anything were to happen and you were in an accident, it allows your wishes to be better represented through the people you trust. It also makes it a lot easier for them, as seeking LPA after you’ve lost mental capacity is a long and expensive process that involves going through the courts.
When do you need to sort an LPA?
Anytime after you’re 25. But the sooner the better.
You can sort yours for free today through the government website, or if you think you’d value expert legal guidance and step-by-step support you can appoint your LPA with Guardian Angel today, for just £120. This process takes an average of 15 minutes, and costs 50% less than your average UK provider.
Start the process of appointing your Lasting Power of Attorney today here.
More about our partner Guardian Angel
Guardian Angel was founded after Sam’s Mum died suddenly in 2016. The grief was tough enough without all of the legal and financial admin that came with it. It was the last thing he wanted to think about. He experienced firsthand the importance of putting a plan in place and the impact it can have for the people left behind. He set up Guardian Angel to make the process of putting plan together more affordable and accessible.
You can find out more about their mission here.