If you have young children, have you ever considered who would look after them if both parents were to die?
By appointing guardians for your children within your Will you can ensure that they will be looked after by the people you choose. The appointment of a guardian will only take effect if there is no other person with parental responsibility for your children or a residence order in place.
Parental responsibility is defined as:
all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’, and includes the ‘rights, powers and duties which a guardian of the child’s estate would have had in relation to the child and his property
Parents acquire parental responsibility if they are married or if this is not the case then the father would acquire parental responsibility if his name is added to the birth certificate or by court order or agreement with the mother.
Guardians, when appointed will make important decisions regarding your children’s education, health, religion and general upbringing until they are 18, so choosing the right person is very important. Most parents choose to appoint couples as guardians and often these are other family members such as aunts, uncles or someone else close to the family. It is also advisable to choose substitute guardians in case the original guardians should die.
Leave it to chance and it will be the Court’s that will appoint guardians for your children.