Good parenting starts with a good Will

No responsible parent would take their family to sea without first making sure that there are some basic safety precautions in place first.

I imagine you’d want some lifejackets, a radio and few flares at the very least.So it’s very puzzling when we see quite how many people set out on the biggest adventure of them all – and I’m talking about raising a family here – by entrusting their fate to prevailing winds and currents, with little thought given to what should happen in an emergency.

You wouldn’t have very much respect for a sea captain whose attitude to safety is whistling in the wind and hoping for the best.

So why do so many people attempt to raise their families in the same way?

The fact is that every family with children or dependents under 18 – regardless of the size of their assets - should have a watertight Will in place that expresses their preferences for guardianship in the event of their children becoming orphaned.

This ensures that, if the worst comes to the worst, your children will be looked after in accordance with your wishes, with the help of people chosen by you and your partner.

The alternative is to entrust their future care to social services and the legal system.If you think that sounds like a scare tactic, well, in all honesty it is. You should be scared.

Scared enough to pull your finger out and do something about it anyway.

No-one wants to sit down with their partner and have the conversation that entails thinking about such horrors.

It’s far easier to brush it under the carpet and hope for the best. I’m speaking from personal experience.

It can be awkward and difficult; you may not both share the same opinion. It can force you to confront personal issues that could otherwise be left alone to fester in a dark corner somewhere.

For example, the most common one we find is when one person thinks that the others chosen guardian – a parent or sibling perhaps - would not make such an ideal choice.

Normally that’s a controversial opinion you can keep to yourself. Now you’re going to have to come out and say so, or sign a legal document expressing the opposite opinion. Pretty tough, isn’t it?

But we all know that issues like this – as awkward as they are – don’t really compare to the peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything will be handled as you wish, should anything go wrong.

That’s why it’s so important to sit down together and make sure it gets done.Many people believe that a Will is not something they need, either because they don’t own property or have enough money to make it worthwhile.

Others know they need a Will and think about it from time to time but constantly put off doing anything about it.

You can choose to be one the 67% of people in the UK, floating about on the waves, thinking that storms only break over other people’s boats.

But let’s be honest, if you have children, is that really a responsible way to navigate your family through life?