This week has seen a momentous event in British history with the birth of a new Royal Prince, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The baby, who has yet to be named is third in line to the British throne and stands to lead a life very different of those of his people. However, William and Kate will still be making sure that provisions are made for their child in certain circumstances and making sure his future and care are secure in their Wills.
When a significant event in your life occurs such as the birth of your first child the last thing on your mind will be the making of a Will. However the making of a Will or review of your current Will is one of the most important matters and should be addressed.
Questions need to be answered such as what would happen if you and your spouse/partner die when your child is still a minor? Who would be the guardian of her/him?
At what age would you wish your child to inherit your estate? Would 18 years be too young? If so you can specify another age in the Will such as 21 years or 25 years.
Who do you wish to act as the trustee to invest the funds for your child and would you wish that person to advance money to the child for education and maintenance? If your child has a disability do you need a discretionary trust set up in the Will?
Many of us do not marry nowadays and this can have a bearing on whether the unmarried father has parental responsibility for their child. If a child was born before December 2003 a father (even if named on the birth certificate) would not automatically have parental responsibility for their child, the mother would. The father may still be cohabiting with the mother but if the Mother dies or separates he would have to apply for parental responsibility through the courts unless a parental responsibility agreement is entered into by the mother.
Since December 2003 a mother and father who are unmarried can attend the registry together to register the birth and if the father is named on the birth certificate then the father will have parental responsibility. Having a Will in place clearly sets out your wishes and provides for your children’s future.
Another consideration when having a child is their name, and the world is waiting eagerly to find out the real name of Baby Cambridge. The naming of your child can be one of the hardest decisions to be made. Their name hopefully will be for their life and consideration needs to me made as to the nicknames the child can be called if the name is shortened. What happens if you choose a name and after registration you decide its not the name you would wish your child to have for the rest of their life? Well, if both parents agree then the name can be changed by change of name deed if the child is still a minor.
When the child turns 18 years if they did not like the name chosen for them they have the option to enter into a change of name deed to choose the name of their liking with out their parents consent.
If you would like your Will reviewed, a change of name deed or for any further information please contact us today on 01509 212 108 or online here
Emma Fuller is head of the private client team at EHL; our solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.
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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.