Making a Will for Guardianship

Making a Will for Guardianship

Making a Will for Guardianship

What are you doing to secure your children’s future?

Putting off making a Will can be very risky for your children’s future, you are potentially risking your children having to go through court battles, family disputes, and possibly even foster care!  

This might seem extreme, but sadly it does happen.

By naming a Guardian in your Will, you have a voice in deciding who will raise your children if you die. Dying without a Will in place, or failing to name a guardian in your Will, means that the court will determine who will get custody of your children.  

Who do you leave your children to if you pass away?

Choosing your children’s Guardian is one of the most important reasons for having a Will, and yet so many people delay this because they do not want to make this hard decision and risk upsetting a family member……..

Here are some considerations when deciding who to appoint as Guardians:

  • Would they be physically able to handle the job? 

Your guardian will be responsible for your children until they reach 18 years old.  Therefore, they should be physically capable of taking on these responsibilities, especially if your children are currently very young.

Many people will automatically want to appoint their parents to be guardians but you need to consider whether they would be physically capable of keeping up with your children if they are young, or be able to provide the necessary physical exercise that some children need.

  • Do they have the time to dedicate to raising your children? 

Caring for children can be very time consuming especially if they are young children.  Ask yourself if your chosen guardian would have the time needed to fulfil your children’s needs and demands, and would they be willing to make life changes to accommodate this?  

  • Would your children have to move? 

It is important to think about where your chosen guardians live in relation to your children’s school, friends and other relatives.  Would you be comfortable with your children having to move away from all that they know to live with your guardians?  (Although for some this may be necessary!) 

  • Does your chosen Guardian share your moral beliefs, and have a genuine concern for your children’s welfare? 

This may seem an odd question, after all you have chosen them, but worth being sure that they will raise your children in a similar way that you would want them to.

  • How old are your chosen guardians?

Legally, your chosen guardian must be over 18 years old to be appointed.  Many clients will naturally want to ask their parents to look after their children.  If you are thinking the same, just consider how old your parents will be by the time your children reach 18 years old.

  • What about the finances? 

Many of my clients worry about whether their chosen guardian would be able to finance the upbringing of their children.  As all parents know, children are very expensive and it is a lot to ask of a guardian to make such a big financial commitment like this.  However, it is possible for guardians to request funds that have been ‘set aside’ in a Minors Trust to help towards the maintenance of the child if needed.

Are you putting off making your Will because you cannot decide or agree on any of the above points?

If you are struggling to decide or agree on who to choose as your Guardian, you are not alone!  Many of our client’s experience this but find that after that have discussed their concerns, their wishes and their available options with us, they are then able to make a confident decision.  

We are not here to make this important decision for you but quite often it is easier to discuss these personal aspects with someone who is removed from your personal situation, and can offer you some guidance without being emotionally involved.  We have dealt with may different family situations so the likelihood is that we will find a solution for you and your family.

If you have any questions or we can help you with anything in the above article, please feel free to get in touch on:

T: 01953 711950