Having a baby is the ultimate push into adulthood. Whether you’re eighteen or forty, there’s something about suddenly finding yourself a parent, responsible for an entire other human being, that makes you grow up literally overnight. It’s the biggest commitment you will ever make. More than “in sickness and in health”. More than “’til death do us part”. Being a parent means that you promise to look out for this child forever, which means even when you’re no longer here to do it in person.
It is so important that every new parent makes a Will. When you promise to love your child “to the moon and back”, then writing a Will protects them in the event of your death. You can make sure they’re financially secure with the inheritance of any money or assets. But more importantly, while they are too young to look after themselves, you can assign a legal guardian who would look after them if you and any other parent were no longer surviving.
A legal guardian can be anyone who does not already have parental responsibility for your child. It could be a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or a close friend. Or in many cases it could be your partner who is not the legally appointed guardian already for your child. Whoever you choose, it will be someone who shares the same beliefs as you do; someone who will bring up your child or children in the manner you would have done.
Remember, that just because you’ve written your Will once, does not mean you can’t change it in the future. Those who you’d appoint as guardians now may not be the same people in your life in ten years’ time. Your family situation may change or indeed grow, involving different partners, step-children, or other dependents.
It feels like there is lots to think about and to prepare once you become a parent, but this is one of those key things that you should not put off. A Will is easy to make so there is no excuse not to be prepared.