Last Will And Testament For UK Nationals Living at Home or Abroad

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                         Infants, Children And Guardianship
Infant  A person who is under the age of 18. The term may include not only your own child who is under 18 but also other infants of which you may not be the blood parent. A Minor cannot own possessions until over the age of 18 and a benefit for an infant must therefore be held in trust for infants until they reach the age of 18. You can stipulate in a Will that benefits for infants can be held in trust until older than 18 if you so wish i.e. until the age of 21 or older. You can in a Will make provisions for the maintenance and financial support for infants while they are under 18 years of age.
Child  Generally taken to mean the issue of parents whilst under the age of 18 but can also include adults i.e. persons over the age of 18. In legal terms a child can therefore be taken to include a child whatever age. The term should not be used to describe a child under 18 years of age who would be correctly described as being " an infant "
The term also includes both legitimate as well as an illegitimate child and a legally adopted child.
The term does not include a stepchild and such persons should be specifically mentioned in a Will if they are to benefit.

Guardian  The guardian is responsible for the welfare and safe upbringing of an infant. (under 18 years of age) at the time of your death. Parents who are making Mirror wills should name a guardian in their (both) wills in the event that they should die together, but appointment (or the responsibilities) of a guardian  (in most cases) will not take effect until the death of the surviving parent.  Guardians must be 18 or over. 

DID YOU KNOW?

Did you know that if you die without naming a guardian, the state would name one for you?...  AFTER they make this decision COSTS would be incurred by your estate and payable from your the residue of your estate.

If at the time of executing (making) your Last Will you have any infants, (children under 18 years) then he or she should in his, or her Last Will appoint someone to act as a guardian for the infant in the event that both parents should perish together prematurely.

Consideration must be given to appoint someone appropriate, who can possibly exercise the same love and care for the child as you would have done yourself. At the very least give someone OF YOUR CHOICE a parental voice in the decisions of your infants child's future.

If a guardian is not appointed by you in your Last Will the state steps in and decides who will have parental responsibility for your child. The infant can be made a "ward of court". The state will do its best for the child but why risk the unnecessary trauma this can cause. Make a Last Will and make YOUR wishes known. 

You could perhaps ask a close relative a friend or a Godparent to fill this important role.

A suitable executor can also act as guardian and vice versa. Great care and serious consideration should be given to whom this important role falls upon.  

Remember this guardian would only step in if both natural parents should die. Any surviving parent has guardianship in most cases. 

                                             Quote from a badly written Last Will. 
"I leave everything to my wife and on her death it is to be shared between my children"
An absolute disaster! The husband wanted to leave everything to his wife, who would then, on her death, leave it to their children. This statement means that his estate by-passed  his wife in favor of his children. His wife is left  merely holding his estate in trust for the children. 
This is one of the reasons why lawyers spend more time and make more money sorting out disputes in badly drafted DIY Wills than they do from drawing them up.
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