The birth of your child is one of the most amazing, wonderful things you’ll ever experience.
Your partner has been carrying your baby inside her for months and you’ve tried to support her as much as possible. The labour, though – I remember feeling useless, seeing my wife go through so much pain and not being able to help. In fact, in my panic, I hindered – encouraging her to push when she was supposed to be panting.
And while you understood, as a concept, that at some point the bump would become a child, nothing can prepare you for that punch of love when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time. You’re suddenly responsible for this tiny person!
The maternity ward feels safe but driving home with a passenger in the baby seat is frightening. Back home, you and your partner are in charge – flying alone. It’s exhilarating but suddenly all the rules have changed and it’s bewildering too.
You’re a grown-up. And, as a grown-up, it’s time to ask yourself some grown-up questions and make some adult decisions – and to plan for your child’s future by writing a will. You and your partner are going to have to ask yourselves that most terrifying of questions: who will look after our child if something happens to us?
It’s a horrible but, tragically, for the 24,000 children a year who experience the death of a parent (source: Winston’s Wish), very real situation. There’s a common assumption that your next of kin will automatically be granted guardianship of your children should you die but, if both parents pass away and there’s no valid will and therefore no legally appointed guardian, children can be put in foster care until the courts decide who they live with.
Thankfully, while the thought of your child being all alone makes your hearts lurch, reassurance is at hand. Contact a solicitor or will writer and talk through the options – then set them out in writing.
Writing a will allows you to:-
* Decide who will look after your children should something happen to you
* Ensure your children will be educated in the way you want them to be
* Feel secure in the knowledge there won’t be any family disputes or court battles over who cares for your children
* And, if you’re worth more than £250,000, be confident your children will receive their full inheritance
Then, will written and adult responsibilities undertaken, you can relax into being a father – and, believe me, it’s the most life affirming experience ever.