Guardianship of your children after your death
If you have children under 18 years of age, someone would need to be appointed to be their legal guardians if you were to die.
You can appoint guardians for children under 18 as part of your Will. This will ensure that your children will be looked after by the people you choose and that this 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 be responsible for deciding who should be appointed guardians of your children.
By including a guardianship clause in your Will it can also help to avoid disputes between family members who may disagree on who should be guardians.
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 should consider the following:
- How do you feel about their values and parenting skills?
- Are they able to offer your children a stable family environment?
- What is their present relationship with your children?
- Are they willing and able to handle the responsibility of caring for your children on a long-term basis?
What does a guardian have to do?
The main duties of a guardian include:
- Making decisions about the children's upbringing, education, health and welfare.
- The day to day care of the children.
- If you have left a property or other financial assets in trust for your children, for them to inherit when they reach adulthood, often 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 solicitors.