Have you asked your children who they would choose for a Guardian in your Will?

General, Wills

Yes, you may well be surprised at me asking such a question, but it is vitally important (provided they are old enough) that you know how they feel. We did exactly this and were both surprised and delighted to hear what they had to say about it.

Guardianship for most parents, is usually the main reason they set up their first Will(s), especially when they hear the consequences of not having this in place, read on…

So what does happen to a child on the death of a parent?

If there is NO surviving parent with ?parental responsibility?* and no guardian(s) appointed, the child immediately becomes the responsibility of the Court from the date of death. If a guardian has been appointed the child?s care similarly passes immediately to the appointed guardian(s). We all know which is the better scenario.

A guardian effectively ?steps into the shoes? of the deceased parent, so it can and often will change the guardian?s lifestyle in a big way, not just from a social life point of view but financially too. Think carefully who you would choose and discuss it with them.

It is about you choosing the guardian(s) rather than the Judge making the decision. You can easily leave your guardian a letter explaining how you intended to bring up your child. You can discuss your choice with family members and pre-empt any dispute so there is clarity in your decision-making. You?ll then know it is going to work.

Think practically, if you appoint guardians that are not likely to get on with the executors/trustees appointed in your Will, how will the guardians fund your child?s upbringing? What will be the line of least disruption for your child? If you have died, that is trauma enough for your child, let alone the possibility of your child having to move away from friends, school and so on.

We can easily help you resolve this, click here now and we will be in touch to discuss setting up your Will(s).

* You?d think that ?parental responsibility? was a straightforward thing to understand, it isn?t! It is defined in the Children Act 1989 if you want to know more as I don?t intend explaining it here ? sorry!

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