Appointing Guardians for infant children

Why appoint a guardian for your children?

If you have young children, have you ever thought who would look after your children after you pass away? Even if you have a partner, or your children have another parent, there is always the possibility that both of you pass away at the same time – and then what happens?

Estate planning for people who have young children often focuses on appointing a guardian. You may already have other family members in mind, or maybe a close friend who you can trust to have your child’s best interest at heart. The issue of appointing a guardian to look after your child is a very important consideration, not just from a legal perspective, but also from a social perspective.

Your child will be a minor until they turn 18 years old, and only then will the law recognise them as an adult together with all the legal rights and responsibilities as an adult. If you pass away before your child becomes an adult, it is likely that you will need to appoint a trustee to look after the financial aspects of your estate (possibly for the benefit of your child) and a guardian to care for your child’s welfare and upbringing. These appointments should be properly addressed in your Will.

Aside from appointing a guardian, your Will may also include directions for guardians with regards to place of residence, academic and/or religious upbringing, health and medical issues – basically, any matter that would otherwise normally concern a parent. Ensuring that your testamentary wishes regarding your child and appointing a guardian is properly documented hopefully will lower the likelihood of disputes over who should be responsible for your child – either through choice or circumstance.

Life is full of twists and turns, however with some planning in advance you can ensure that the children that you leave behind are in good hands and are cared for by the right people – people that you trust.

So why delay? If you are interested in drafting or reviewing your Will and what it says, give us a call or use the quick contact form to get in touch with us.