30 Nov 2018
Almost two-thirds of UK parents have made no legal provision for who would raise their offspring if they died.
Direct Line Life Insurance says that, while it is difficult to discuss who might look after the children if both parents were to pass away, 42% of parents haven’t even broached the issue with their partner.
The company's latest research also found that, even when a couple have discussed this issue, 17% could not agree on who they should ask to take on the responsibility.
Almost a third of those who have discussed making legal provision for potential guardians wouldn’t give the person raising their children access to any money from their estate.
When people were asked why they haven’t made legal provision for the care of their children, 36% say they hadn’t considered it, while 18% don't want to think of dying and their own mortality.
Almost a quarter assumed their children would automatically be put into the care of their parents, or next of kin.
When it comes to who would look after the children if both parents were to pass away, most people would expect their own parents to take them in (28%), while a fifth (20%) would expect the child’s aunt or uncle to assume responsibility.
Godparents may have been traditionally responsible for looking after their godchild in this situation, but changing religious and social trends mean just 6% of parents would now expect godparents to take on this responsibility.
Jane Morgan, business manager at Direct Line Life Insurance, said: “Thinking about who would take care of their children if they were to pass away is a parent’s worst nightmare. However, difficult it is to contemplate, it is incredibly important to have a plan in place should the worst happen.
“To prevent a custody battle, parents should make a legal provision for those who would be primary carers for their children, ensuring they would be happy to take on the responsibility. While they may be happy to step in, some people may struggle with the financial implications of bringing up someone else’s child, so it is important to consider this too.
“Life Insurance offers an affordable way for families to help look after loved ones financially if someone passes away, paying out a lump sum, to help deal with everyday money concerns such as household bills.”