Guardianship of your children after your death
If you were to die, leaving children under the age of 18 without a parent, someone would need to look after your children.
As part of your Will, you can appoint guardians for children under 18. This will ensure that should you die your children will be looked after by the people you choose and this important decision will not be left to chance or decided by the Courts.
If you do not appoint guardians in your Will, then the Courts will have to decide who should be appointed guardian of your children.
By including this provision in your Will it can also help to avoid disputes between opposing family members who would all like to help. By stating your wishes in a Will you can make it clear exactly what you would like to happen.
Choosing the right guardians
When considering who to appoint as legal guardian for your children, you will need to consider the following:
- What is their present relationship with your children?
- Are they able to offer your children a stable family environment?
- How do you feel about their values and parenting skills?
- Are they willing and able to handle the responsibility of caring for your children on a long-term basis?
What does a legal guardian have to do?
The main duties of a guardian include:
- The day to day care of the children.
- Making decisions about the children's upbringing, education, health and welfare.
- If you have left a property or other financial assets in trust for your children, for them to inherit when they reach adulthood, usually a Guardian will also be one of the Trustees.
There are many things to consider when deciding on guardians. For more information and advice please contact us to speak to one of our experienced solicitors.