Guardians are those special people who are trusted to bring up children aged under eighteen years of age in the event of a tragedy in which the parents of those children do not survive. It is all about arranging parental responsibility to the right people. Without the parents making an express wish, the authorities will take responsibility. They do a fantastic job, but it if the children are cared for by someone they know, it is easier for them to come to terms with the loss of their parents.
Therefore, for parents with young children the most significant and important function of a Will is the appointment of the Guardian.
The child’s interests are paramount. The existing relationship between the child and the potential Guardian must be good and the child must feel comfortable with them. Guardians must be sympathetic to the child’s needs, especially if there is some special talent in which the child excels, for example music, sport or education. The Guardian must be in a position to support the child in these situations. It is often more practical for Guardians of a similar age to the parents to be more in tune with the demands of a baby, or toddler, or teenager. Older Guardians may find this difficult.
It is preferable for the child to remain in the area where his or her surroundings are familiar. A child having to deal with bereavement will have added difficulty in making new friends and starting new schools.
Guardians should share the same values and beliefs as the parents. Religion is an important consideration in a child’s upbringing.
A very important consideration is to make sure the Guardian is willing to take on the role. It is not as simple as it first appears and the practicalities might be otherwise, for example, accommodation might be limited.
Considering the scenario is not easy, but if parents make preparations and a tragic event does occur, your child’s future will be in good and safe hands.
A financial preparation through a Will is the subject of a future blog article.