Nothing in family life is more important than the safety, care, and well-being of a child. All parents know this, so why state the obvious? Because if parents are suddenly ‘taken away’ by misadventure, their children could be exposed to danger. And that’s why sound planning suggests that such contingencies should be part of a well-designed Will. We trust you will find what follows to be useful information.
If both parents die, and their Will does not provide specific instructions, it falls to the Family Court to determine who should become the legal guardian of their minor children (under 18). Since the court may nominate a person the parents would not themselves have selected when alive, unwelcome problems may well arise.
It stands to reason, then, that parents should carefully consider the guardian issue. Items that might need identifying will likely include:
- The character of a guardian candidate.
- Whether a candidate’s values, beliefs, religion, etc, align with the best interests of the child.
- Whether, also, the candidate has the time, funds and expertise to handle the task.
Since a guardian is responsible for short and long-term care, it’s important to evaluate their ability to ensure proper shelter, clothing and education for any child whom they are appointed to protect.
Inevitably, it would be wise for the parents to fully discuss the issues – and expectations – with the preferred candidate(s) before making a final decision.
It may also be wise to nominate two guardians so that if something untoward happened to one of them, there would be a viable alternative.
Whoever might be chosen, it falls to the Executor/Trustee of the parents’ estate to pay the guardian in line with the terms of the Will.
The Topdocs organisation is well versed in the complex and emotional area of child guardianship, whether the child is your natural, adopted or step child, Topdocs are well worth talking to as an initial step.
Before having an obligation-free chat with the good people at Topdocs, click here to see more on the online legal facilities they make available to you.
For a brief overview on the using your Will to protect the interests of your child, view this one-page this easy-to-read document.
As always, we’d love to have your feedback on this innovative service.
Prepared for you by the team at Now Sorted.