In your 30s and 40s? Got nippers at home? Ooof. That “To Do” list is brutal. And we get that wills, life insurance and Junior ISAs are even less exciting than the prospect of watching Frozen for the 345th time. But they are the most important things we can do for our kids’ financial wellbeing. Download our jargon-free Guides below and we’ll explain your choices and where we think are the best places to go.
Our Boring Money menus give you our preferred picks for all budgets including picks for beginners and those feeling a bit more confident. Take your pick. Do it quick. And then do something more fun instead.
Protect your family. You can do this in just 20 minutes.
If you die without a will, your family’s worst nightmare just gets bigger. At best, this will be a serious admin headache. At worst, they could lose their home. Don’t risk it (nb. the information below applies to England and Wales only – apologies Northern Ireland, Scotland and all those from overseas, it will be different for you).
- If you’re not married and die without a will, then the money goes to your kids, not your partner. It’s held in trust for them ‘till they are 18. So how would your partner pay the mortgage?
- If you’re separated but still legally married, your ex could get it all. Nice.
- Even dying is a taxable event! If your property and assets are worth more than £325,000 there will be 40% inheritance tax when you gasp your last, unless you are married or have a civil partner. They can currently leave your beneficiaries double this (£650,000) when they die. Having a will helps you plan for inheritance tax and avoid any unnecessary nasty shocks.
- Watch out for extra fees – firms acting as executors, high charges for will storage and/or lasting power of attorney (LPAs). What you see isn’t always what you get. LPAs are often heavily marketed alongside Wills. Since July 2015 the government has made it very easy for these to be completed online.
- Download our short guide for tips and ideas on how to sort out a will with minimum cost and hassle.
So where can you get one? Stationers WHSmith and Amazon offer DIY will ekits for approx £10. Cancer Research UK offer free wills if you or your partner are aged 55 plus in the hope that the charity will be remembered in the will. Co-op offer a fixed-fee service, charging £150 for a single will. Solicitors Irwin Mitchell offer an online service starting from £145+VAT for a single will.Download guide Find out more
Don’t tell us it’s too hard.You fitted a stairgate, didn’t you!?
We’re more likely to insure our pets than ourselves. But as much as you love Moggie, she won’t pay the mortgage for your kids if you get hit by a bus.You could sort this in 10 minutes.
- It may not cost as much as you think. A healthy 40 something who hasn’t hit the fags since Take That were No 1 can get OK cover for about £10 a month.
- Do check this with your employer – you may be covered through work although sometimes the dreaded ‘downsizing’ hits perks so double-check any assumptions.
- Look at your partner. Could they continue your family’s lifestyle without your salary? If the answer is No and you don’t have life cover, you’re being a wally. Sorry.
Tax-free savings. Not just for Little Lord Fauntleroy either.
Child Trust Funds have bitten the dust and JISAs are the new kid on the block. Set aside a tax free pot of cash for your kids which you, friends and Great Aunty Molly can pay into. Set one up online in less than half an hour.
- These are not for knickerbocker-wearing brats only. Just £1 a day is enough to get saving.
- According to a Barclays survey*, shares are 75% more likely to do better than cash over a 5 year timeframe. This jumps to 91% more likely over 10 years and 99% over 18 years. Your kids will get their Junior ISA savings when they turn 18. So when you are saving for children who are 13 and under, statistically the odds suggest you should at least consider stocks & shares.
- Choose between cash or stock & shares ISAs – we’ll explain the difference in our guide.
- These are a great alternative present come birthdays and Christmas if you are having a miserable hernia about the idea of yet more green plastic from Taiwan forcing its way into your house.
- Your children will get access to this money at 18 so it’s not every parent’s cup of tea.
Expert answers to your money questions
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