If you have children under the age of 18, its worth considering appointing guardians to take care of them in the event of your death before they reach the age of 18.
What is the role of a guardian?
A guardian is an individual charged with the responsibility to take care of your children in the event of your death. Any adult of your choosing can be a guardian, this may be close family friend or family member. Normally a guardian will also be appointed as a trustee for your children as well. As a trustee they will be responsible for taking care of your children’s finances until they reach the age of 18. If you do decide to appoint your guardian as a trustee, it is often advisable to appoint another independent trustee so as to guard against any conflicts of interest.
What happens if a guardian isn’t appointed?
If you have children under the age of 18 and you fail to appoint a guardian to look after them in the event that you die before they reach the age of 18 the Court will appoint guardians for you. It could take several months for the Court to appoint a guardian and in the intervening period your children could be taken into care. A Court appointed guardian will not necessarily be the person you would have preferred to look after your children.
What do I need to do next?
The first thing you need to do is write your will. This will enable you to appoint your preferred guardians for your children. You should check with your proposed guardian if they are willing and able to take on the role of guardian and make sure they are aware what their responsibilities would be should you die.
You can make your will here on www.makemeawill.com and appoint guardians but should you wish to discuss your requirements further, don’t hesitate to drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01522 500823 to speak to one of the team.