Samantha Fox, aged 32, is a single mum and has a son, Jamie, aged 8. Jamie has not had any contact with his father since he was two as he moved hundreds of miles away.
Samantha owns her house which is unencumbered as she bought it outright when she received an inheritance from her mother who died 6 years ago. Samantha’s Estate is worth £315,000 in total, including all the assets and savings she has.What are their wishes?
• To appoint guardians for Jamie
• She would like her entire Estate to pass to Jamie
• Samantha is concerned that Jamie could inherit at an early age and could waste away his inheritance
• She is concerned about who would look after Jamie if she died as her dad is too old and Jamie’s father hasn’t seen him for 6 years
• She is also concerned that Jamie’s father may try and get back in touch with Jamie if he thinks he could benefit from Jamie’s inheritance
With regards to Samantha’s Will, we would recommend that she appoints a guardian who she trusts and lives close by to her so Jamie wouldn’t be up-rooted at a difficult time.
After a discussion with Samantha she feels that her sister would be a suitable guardian as she lives close by and has the same values when bringing up children. We would advise that Samantha discusses this with her sister before we draft the Wills. We would also recommend that Samantha writes a Memorandum of Wishes explaining that she would not want Jamie to be up-rooted to Scotland with his father since his father hasn’t wanted any contact in the last 6 years. We did explain that Jamie’s father could still have parental responsibility and may still get custody, however, with a Memorandum of Wishes the court could take her views into consideration, along with Jamie’s wishes.
We would also recommend that Jamie’s Estate is placed into Trust until the age of 25. This would mean that the Trustees would control the Estate until Jamie reaches this age, however, if at any point during this time they feel that Jamie needs some of the Estate for a valid reason, they could release some of the capital early. This could be to cover university fees so that Jamie didn’t get into debt, or it could be for a deposit on a house if they fell that Jamie is responsible enough at this time. This would also protect the Estate from Jamie’s father if he was to gain custody or come back into Jamie’s life.