Appointing guardians for your children
Why appoint guardians?
Most people think that custody of their children automatically goes to their partner or next of kin, like a mother or sibling. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it works. Legal responsibility for your children only passes to someone with parental responsibilty for them.
If you die while your child is under 18, and there is no other person who has parental responsibility ( is legally responsible for your child/children), the state will appoint a guardian.Yes, social services decide the future of where your children are placed!
Making a will is the only legally binding way to decide who would take care of your child.
When are guardians needed?
Guardians are ONLY called into action if there are no surviving parents/carers – meaning people with parental responsibility. Mothers always have parental responsibility. Fathers have responsibility if they were married to the mother at the time of child’s birth or named on the birth certificate, or it has been granted through a court order.
What do you do once you’ve chosen your guardian?
Once you’ve chosen a guardian, it’s a good idea to talk it through with them and let them know your wishes and that you’d like to name them in your will. If they’re happy with being asked then simply add them to your will and you’re done. If you wish to be more explicit in your guidance you can provide written guidance for them and if you do, it can be helpful to review this regularly to ensure any appropriate changes are made.
If you have a child under 18, appointing a guardian in your will is an essential part of planning for the future.
Please get in touch with Sarah Gray if you would like to discuss matters further and arrange your no obligation home visit. Evenings and weekend appointments are available. E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: 07877312472 www.grayspowersofattorney.co.uk