What do I need to do to protect myself?(9 Posts)
I read many, many threads on here about people being unmarried or not on the mortgage and leaving themselves open to getting swindled so just wanted to ask some advice.
DH and I had our first child one week ago today and it's made me question a few things we don't yet have in place.
We don't have a will
We have life insurance with the mortgage but not anything decent
The mortgage is in DH's name as, when we bought the house two years ago, I was just coming out of a five year debt management plan and it really affected my credit rating. I put in half of the deposit and DH the other half (so about £20k equity plus about £15k where the value has increased).
I'm not asking this question because I think our relationship or marriage is in danger, far from it. We're very happy, and are both planning on reducing our hours to be at home with DS one day a week each. DH is also taking SPL for the last three months and I'll be going back after nine months.
But now we have DS, I'm keen to ensure he's as protected as possible. What legal documents do we need to get sorted to make sure this happens??
If you are married i am pretty sure you are protected re the house in the event of a split..if you are not then perhaps its time to see if you can add yourself to the mortgage/house deeds.
Congratulations on DS
I would definitely invest in decent life insurance and critical illness cover. Do it now while you're presumably young and healthy. They can be invaluable if the worst happens, allowing you to not worry about work.
Definitely make wills as well, including naming a guardian for DS if you were both to die together or in quick succession.
It makes such a different whether you are married, that we really need to know that first...it would save a lot of typing and focus on the things important for your situation.
You must have wills. Both of you are going to die and you don't know in what order.
You also need guardianship arrangements if (hope not) you both die before your kid is independent.
If you aren't married get a shift on. You could be on the street if your husband were to die.
When you make your will, don't forget to make provisions for the cost of raising DS by guardians. My DSis was making her will and telling me the split between the kids/stepkids as I'm the executioner of her will. I'm also legal guardian for her 2 kids if both her and DBIL die before the DCs are 18.
It was only when I pointed out that although I work full time, I couldn't afford to buy a house big enough for all of us and raise them without financial help. It was just an oversight on her part but her useless solicitor hadn't raised it with her. The solicitor had also put me down as 'middle name, first name, surname' and when questioned on this, as its not my name just said 'well you don't have any other sisters so it will be fine'!
From my IFA days; Long ago I once worked with someone who, when advising a couple, made the husband lie on the floor and told him he was "dead". He'd then ask the wife what money she had to live on etc etc. Frighteningly often she'd have no idea and it really rammed home the importance of both parties understanding how the family finances worked and what would be needed if one party was to die.
I was never brave enough to use his technique as he did but it is a good starting point to get you thinking what you need.
Bluebell, speaking as a will writer myself, I would never advise a client to give a sum of money to a guardian.
Under the law, the guardian is entitled to have the costs of looking after a child taken from their trust fund so that the guardian isn't out of pocket, and the trustees may, if appropriate, retain a home (in their names) on trust for the child with the guardian being allowed to live in it, or of course the guardian and trustee could buy a property jointly until the children were grown up, at which point it would be sold and the children would receive their share.
Whenever a client asks me to put in an outright gift to a guardian for the child's upkeep I ask them to think about what would happen if, for example, they gave £300k to the guardian in a will made when they had a 3 year old. The parents die the week before the child is 18. The estate is £300,001. The guardians would get £300k and the child £1. The will writer or solicitor who wrote your sisters will should have explained that.
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