Guardianship (appointing responsible people to look after your children)

When you become a parent, your life changes in ways you never imagined. 

Suddenly, your priorities shift and the well-being of your child becomes your number one concern. There are many things to consider when raising a child, from how to discipline them safely and effectively to ensuring they have everything they need for their physical and emotional development. 

One issue that all parents should be aware of is guardianship – what it is, and what happens if you die without appointing a guardian in your Will. 

Here we’ll discuss some of the basics about guardianship so that you can make an informed decision about who will care for your children if something happens to you.

Guardianship is the legal process of appointing someone to care for a minor child (typically under the age of 18 – called a minor) if both parents die or are unable or unwilling to take on that responsibility themselves. 

The appointed guardian typically assumes all parental rights and responsibilities regarding the child, including making decisions about their education, welfare, and health. If you’re not sure who you would like to appoint as guardian in case of your death, there are several factors you will want to consider. 

One key question is whether the potential guardian lives close by or far away – if they don’t live nearby, arranging regular visits could be difficult. You’ll also want to think about whether the potential guardian has experience caring for young children, as well as their relationship with your children and whether they would be able to provide a stable home environment for them. 

Ultimately, choosing a guardian is a very personal decision, but it’s important to start thinking about it early on so that you’re prepared in case anything happens.

With a Will, you’re also able to make provision for your children. You can create a fund or pot of money for the guardians to use to ensure that your children are provided for. Additionally you can make sure that your children are raised in the way that you would want them to be for example in accordance with a religious faith.

No one knows when their time will come, but it’s important to have a plan in place for your children just in case something happens to you. Working with an estate planning specialist like Soteria Planning can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of should the unexpected occur. Make sure to take the time now to appoint guardians and make arrangements for their future; it could be the best decision you ever make for them. Have you appointed guardians for your children? If not, please reach out today for guidance – we would be happy to help.

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Do you know what happens if you don't have a will in place?