Should the worst happen….
Children are arguably one of the most precious things in a person’s life (maybe not at 2am when they think it’s playtime!) and as a parent you want what is best for them. So why is it that around 88% of parents have not appointed guardians for their children should the worst happen and both parents die before their children reach the age of 18?
A guardian is responsible for making the important decisions relating to a child such as their education, where they should live and medical treatment.
You do not necessarily need to make a Will to appoint guardians but this is the most logical document to use as you can also state who is to receive your assets on death and who should safeguard those assets if you leave them to your children and they do happen to be under 18.
I can empathise with why so few people have appointed guardians. Having a child myself, I found it easy to decide who was going to inherit my assets but when it came to my husband and I deciding who we would want to be responsible for her if we both passed away, there was a myriad of factors to consider when deciding “what would be best”.
I find that clients often put off preparing a Will because they do not want to consider the terrible possibility that they may die before their children are adults. But leaving your affairs in order by appointing guardians and stating who should receive your assets and when in a Will would avoid additional unnecessary stress should the worst happen.
Another issue clients often encounter is that they get “stuck” when trying to decide who should be guardians and that this has meant that they have put off preparing a Will at all.
We are able to assist you in making the decision as part of the Will making process. Factors such as:
- who should be appointed. You can appoint anyone you want such as family or friends. Would your parents be able to cope with looking after your children or would someone else be more suitable? Would your child fit well into their family? Does your guardian have children of a similar age?Whoever you decide upon, I would recommend that you check that your chosen guardian would be happy to act.
- will your guardians give your children the upbringing that you would like them to have? Do they have similar values to you?
- the location of the guardian; would you want your child to have to move across the country to live with their guardian or would you want them to stay near to where you live?
As a parent, you want what is best for your child and whether you prepare a Will is your decision. Personally, I feel reassured knowing that we have made provision for our daughter should the worst happen although hopefully we will stay around until she is much older!
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