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InHouse Wills & Probate

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Guardian

 

An important reason for making a Will is to appoint one or more guardians for young children you leave behind. If you do not do this then there is nothing automatic about who will care for the children and the decision falls to the authorities.

A guardian takes on the ‘parental responsibility’ for the children until they reach 18. This means that they decide on all the normal matters involved with bringing up children, including education, health etc.

A guardian does not automatically look after the children’s inheritance. This is the role of the trustees (normally the executors of the Will). One person can act both as guardian and executor/trustee if you decide that is appropriate, but often people decide to separate the roles. For example, you may think that one particular relative would provide the best personal care for the children but is hopeless with money, whilst your best friend would see that the inheritance you leave for them is properly managed.

If you and the children’s other parent are no longer together, you may be worried about your ‘ex’ getting hold of the children’s money. Your Will cannot restrict the rights that your ‘ex’ has towards the children (you need a family court involved for that). However, with a Will in place you can guarantee that you children’s inheritance is looked after by trustees and so kept away from your ‘ex’.

Remember - a Will lets you control who would look after your children if you pass away

If you are involved in an arrangement involving surrogate parents for a child, then you need to ensure you have special wording in place.

Guardian

Hopefully the role of Guardian is never required - but by creating a simple Will you can be sure who would take care of your children and who would look after their money.