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AIBU?

Single parent will

17 replies

Robin198 · 28/02/2024 06:16

Posting here for traffic to hopefully catch both some solo parents and legal knowledge.

I’m a single parent (separated but not yet divorced) what should I consider when writing a will?

I have one child (5)
£180k equity in a house I’m the sole owner of (90k left on mortgage)
£15k in savings
If I was to die just now I would get a death in service from my employer (50k)
I have a pension I can transfer to a nominated person.

ExH is a good person but terrible with money. I mean- terrible think 3 failed businesses, irresponsible debt etc….. In theory I’d have no issues leaving a substantial amount to him for the care of our child but in practice this would be frittered away within a year.

What considerations should I take on board before writing up a will? Is putting everything in trust for my child an option?

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Am I being unreasonable?

9 votes. Final results.

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upifpmpyesmyypfie · 28/02/2024 06:22

I’d get your will prepared by a qualified solicitor rather than a will writing company as he or she will be able to guide you on what is best regarding your estate, pension and death in service.

However you can leave everything on trust for your child. You can pick the trustees who will manage the money for your child. ExH does not need to be a trustee. You should also think about guardians in case you and ExH pass away.

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GreyhpundGirl · 28/02/2024 06:22

Who you nominate to be guardian if you die while they are a minor. Yes, trusts are an option. If you go through a, solicitor, a lot of these questions arise anyway, and things you probably hadn't thought of as obviously they know the 'but what if' scenarios.

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Comingupriver · 28/02/2024 06:28

Set it up so everything is left to your son but his father has legal tenancy for the duration of your sons childhood.

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Robin198 · 28/02/2024 06:30

This is all really useful, thank you. My professional body & union offer a will writing service so I’ll make contact today.

Thank you for these suggestions.

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BibbleandSqwauk · 28/02/2024 06:52

Mine names the children as beneficiaries with a relative of mine as executor. I've included a stipulation that ex should get a monthly amount equivalent to what CMS would be in my salary at point of death. Relative has discretion for additional spending if she deems fit but basically I'm not having ex and his current wife benefitting from my estate so he is not an executor.

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Robin198 · 28/02/2024 07:30

That’s really, really helpful. Thank you.

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Dacadactyl · 28/02/2024 07:37

Our will stipulates that my sister (who is good with money and I trust completely) would become my children's guardian in the event both DH and I died together.

Our will also stipulates that any money she wants to use for the kids' benefit needs "signing off" by both my Dad and FIL. Can't remember the actual wording of it and I don't mean if she wants a tenner, but you can write something saying that other people have oversight of the money.

Although, now DD is 17 we need to change the will tbh, because I'd rather she stayed here and looked after her brother, than move to my sister. The wider family would work something out in the event of our demise, so I've not rushed to change it.

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MagpiePi · 28/02/2024 07:44

Someone being a guardian doesn't automatically mean that the child will live with them. They are legally responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the child so could arrange for them to go a boarding school or live with another person.

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Dacadactyl · 28/02/2024 07:50

@MagpiePi i realise that, but at the time of we made the will, she agreed they'd live with her. Mine were small and she had no kids of her own at that time though.

As I said, now my kids are older it wouldn't work for them (or my sister, tbh!), so I trust the rest of the family would decide the best course of action at this point.

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OhamIreally · 28/02/2024 09:18

I have just made my first post-divorce will. I have appointed my sister and brother in law as executors but haven't appointed a guardian as ex would definitely want DD to live with him and any wishes of mine expressed in a will wouldn't override that. Apart from a few gifts all my residuary estate goes to DD but I hadn't considered that ex might get his hands on it if she's under 18

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toomuchfaff · 28/02/2024 10:06

You can put all your assets into trust that you can specify executors and you can stipulate criteria - house cannot be sold etc.

beneficiaries can be set (presuming DC), and executors can be set - multiple - so you can set a solicitor or several friends who can each have a handle on the trust - but no single person can do "something" such as dissolve the trust, sell the house etc without all agreeing

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Picklestop · 28/02/2024 10:08

Robin198 · 28/02/2024 06:30

This is all really useful, thank you. My professional body & union offer a will writing service so I’ll make contact today.

Thank you for these suggestions.

Note that when your divorce comes through this will will become null and void, so make sure you do another one.

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Pinkdelight3 · 28/02/2024 10:21

Might be being thick, but if you're not yet divorced, how can you be sure the house is yours and your DH won't be half, and same with pension etc? Perhaps you've already made those arrangements so it's all sorted already, but just checking as it obviously makes a difference and most wives would be wanting half of everything, esp if you're the higher earner, so don't want to assume.

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Robin198 · 28/02/2024 19:44

Pinkdelight3 · 28/02/2024 10:21

Might be being thick, but if you're not yet divorced, how can you be sure the house is yours and your DH won't be half, and same with pension etc? Perhaps you've already made those arrangements so it's all sorted already, but just checking as it obviously makes a difference and most wives would be wanting half of everything, esp if you're the higher earner, so don't want to assume.

The house is mine because I own it (Scottish law) and we’ve discussed pension etc.

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Rubbishconfession · 28/02/2024 19:49

Do you need a Financial Order / Clean Break Order in Scotland? In England without that he could go after the house regardless of the divorce.

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BIWO · 28/02/2024 20:43

When I divorced my children were 4, 7 and 9 at the time. I set my will up so my brother would have control of the trust of the estate until the children reached 21. I could not trust my ex husband or his new wife to do the right thing.

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sleepwellifyoucan · 28/02/2024 20:56

I have set up my will so most is left in trust to my DC with a percentage to a trusted family member. They would then use that money to provide what the DC needed as and when until they could access their money. My ex is awful with money and there was no way he was having access to any of it.

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