Single Parent

It's never easy to bring up children without the support of a like-minded partner. You naturally want the best for them so, quite rightly, your first priority now may be to make adequate provision for their school and university years. But what would happen if you were no longer around to look after them? You will need to secure their inheritance in a Will and, at the same time, perhaps set up a tax efficient Trust to make sure they receive maximum benefit from whatever you want to give them, both during your lifetime and after your death.

You should also be thinking about giving Power of Attorney to someone you could trust to look after your affairs and carry out your wishes if you have an accident or suffer a long term illness - or, in the event of your early death, appointing a Guardian who you know will take proper care of your children.

Taking our 360 Lifestage Review is the best way to discover what you should be thinking about at your stage of life. Alternatively, click on any button below to find out exactly why particular services could be important to you as a single parent.

  • Related Documents
  • FAQs
  • Q1 Have you made a Will?
  • A1
    • We all want and expect to live a long life, but contemplating the consequences of an early death should be a priority for every single parent. For example, who would take care of your children if you were no longer there? Without a Will, this could be someone appointed by the court or all parental rights could revert to the surviving parent - something you may not wish to happen. That's why it's so important to express your wishes on Guardians in a Will and find out more about the complexities of transferring parental responsibility by discussing your individual circumstances with one of our legal experts
    • If you die without a Will, your children would automatically inherit at the age of 16 - could you have handled that amount of cash and responsibility when you were that age? By making a Will, you can ensure that their inheritance will be held in Trust until your children are mature enough to use it wisely
    • It is also important to remember to revise your Will with the birth of every child or any previous versions could be declared invalid
    • As well as making provision for your children, you can also use a Will to specify what you want to leave to other members of your extended family such as sisters or brothers, nieces or nephews or godchildren
    • Making a Will allows you to express clear wishes about your funeral arrangements, taking a potentially difficult decision away from your family
    • A Will also offers the reassurance that winding up your affairs after your death will be much more straightforward and far less expensive for your family than if you had died without one
  • Q2 Who would you want to look after your affairs if you were no longer able to do so yourself?
  • A2
    • A Power of Attorney is a simple legal arrangement that allows you to choose the person you want to look after your financial and welfare affairs - if, for example, you were hospitalised as the result of an accident or serious illness - rather than having someone appointed without your approval
    • For a small one-off payment, a Power of Attorney is like an insurance policy - you hope you'll never need it, but you'll be grateful you've got it if you ever do!
  • Q3 Time to move?
  • A3
    • There could be many reasons behind your current status as a single person - divorce, for example, or the death of a partner. In such circumstances, it could be that you're now living in the previous family home that might be too large for your current needs. Downsizing to a smaller property could be the answer, with the potential for surplus funds from the sale to use for the benefit of your children
    • It could be time to move if you want a garden for growing kids to play in, as a lifestyle choice to move in or out of the city or, very importantly, you need to move into a catchment area that would offer the best choices for the children's education
    • Selling or buying, your first move should be to discuss your family aspirations with Pagan Osborne's leading property team
  • Q4 What plans are you making to secure your children's financial future?
  • A4
    • You naturally want the best for your children, and that includes making sure they have access to a first class education. We can help with expert advice on the best way to plan ahead for school and university fees
    • It may seem a long way off now, but it's never too early to explore the savings options available to you for putting money aside to cover wedding expenses or helping your children take their first step on the property ladder
    • Have you investigated how the government's Child Trust Fund could help you build up a nest egg to benefit each child when they reach 18?
    • We can also offer expert advice on setting up a tax efficient Trust Fund which would lock money away for your children to access when they are older
    • Looking after children as a single parent brings many responsibilities, including keeping the money coming in! We can advise you on the steps you could take to protect your income if your circumstances should change - if you were made redundant, for example, or if you couldn't work due to illness or injury
  • Q5 What are the benefits of renting rather than buying?
  • A5
    • Offering the twin benefits of affordability and flexibility, renting could be a good move if you want to try out an area before you decide to buy
    • It could also be your best option if you are unsure about your future job location, or if you need to fill a lengthy gap between selling one property and buying another
    • We always have a huge selection of properties for rent in Edinburgh and Fife, and we'd be delighted to help you find that perfect property at a perfect price
  • Q6 Are you paying too much tax?
  • A6
    • Money can be tight when you're bringing up children on your own, so it pays to get specialist advice on how to make the most of whatever tax breaks and reliefs might be available to you.We can also guide you through the complexities of Tax Credits to make sure you get everything you're entitled to as a single parent
    • Depending on individual circumstances, you may also need advice on how best to reduce future Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains liabilities to retain as much as possible in your estate for the benefit of your children after you've gone


Not sure where to start? Why not just give us a call today on
0131 624 6820 for Edinburgh or 01334 475001 for Fife to discuss your needs.

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