Who would you trust with your children?

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In the UK there are over 13.2 million dependent children. 76% of them live in a two-parent family but 24% have just one parent caring for them – most of these are women.

With statistics like these, it is important to consider how best to look after your children if you are not around to look after them yourself. It is imperative that you discuss fully your requirements for your children with a professional adviser.

Careful thought and consideration are required to ensure that your will is drafted correctly so that the directions concerning the care of your children are clear.

You will naturally consider the need to appoint guardians and ensure that your choice is both suitable and practical. What is often overlooked is that you have a financial responsibility not only to your children but to the guardians themselves. After all they may be friends who love your children but that why should they bear the financial cost of bringing them up?

There are a variety of ways to fund the care of your children and to ensure that your wishes are taken into account. You should also wish to appoint trustees and ensure that they have the flexibility to increase payments to the guardians if required.

This all sounds as though this could cost a great deal of money, money that you do not currently have, but don’t let that put you off dealing with your responsibilities. You can pass the financial burden to a third party – an insurance company.

If you are able to pass on your immediate financial responsibilities in this way then you are not quite off the hook as you have to ensure firstly that you maintain the regular premiums on the policies. Secondly you also need to ensure that the life policies are written in trust (the salesman may not suggest it – as they get paid to sell a policy- not provide advice on trusts).

Otherwise you may have wasted part of the monies you have paid as the policy may be otherwise subject to inheritance tax. Hold a conversation now with your partner, before it’s too late.

All figures: ONS, Families and households, 2001 to 2011. January 2012

About Ray L Best

Ray Best has had over 30 years experience of advising on complex financial matters. A published author of a number of books including “Partnership and Shareholder Protection”, Inheritance Tax Simplified”. We provide an initial meeting at no cost and only engage with clients when we can add significant value.

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