Appointing a Guardian

When making a Will many people focus on protecting and passing on their financial assets, and some consider that they do not need a Will if they do not have any assets. But what about protecting your family? As a parent you need to consider who would look after your children if something happened to you.

By appointing a guardian in your Will, you can choose a person to look after your children. If you do not appoint a guardian under your Will then ultimately the court may have to decide. It is therefore much easier for all involved if you have appointed a guardian under your Will.

The guardian will be responsible for the day to day care of your children when they are under the age of 18 years, so you may want to consider the following when making this decision:-

  • How many children do you have under the age of 18 years and do you want them to live together?
  • Is your chosen guardian physically and mentally able to look after your children?
  • Are you considering joint guardians?
  • Where does your chosen guardian live? Would your children live with them?
  • Does your chosen guardian share your beliefs and values?
  • Has your chosen guardian agreed to act?
  • Does your chosen guardian have young children of their own?

It is important to note that your nominated guardian can only act when there is no one else alive with parental responsibility. This means, for example, if you are divorced then the surviving parent will normally take responsibility for your children rather than your guardian.

If you would like to discuss the issue of appointing guardians further, please contact Vanessa Ruparel who is a Solicitor in our Private Client team on [email protected] or 0118 958 9711

Further reading

Guardianship – the facts

Do I need a Will?

Parental Responsibility – what is it and how can you acquire it?

Dealing with an Estate or Trust – top tips!

J.R.R. Tolkien and Literary Executors

Barrett & Co Private Client Department

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