Looking after what is most valuable - your children
All children under 18 should have Guardians appointed to look after them in the event of their parents' untimely death. It's accordingly more important for parents of young children to make a Will naming Guardians than it is for elderly people.
Guardians are appointed by someone who has parental responsibility. Fathers have parental responsibility when the father
was married to the mother at the time of birth or subsequently marries her.
was awarded parental responsibility through a parental responsibility agreement with the birth mother or through a court order.
was named on the birth certificate and the child was born after 1 December 2003.
Unmarried fathers of young children born before 1 December 2003 do not therefore have parental responsibility. If the birth mother wants the natural father to look after their child in the event of her death, she must make a Will appointing the father as Guardian.
If everyone with parental responsibility has died, the local authority will have parental responsibility for the care of the child; this may be with relatives, or with foster carers, or in a residential home.
Guardians will be responsible for looking after such children until they are 18 years old. When choosing Guardians one should consider
Age- How old will they be when your children are 18?
Will they be able to cope with bringing up very young children?
Will they be able to control children in their teenage years?
Location-Will your children have to move school and be separated from their friends?
Finances- Will they be able to accommodate your children? Trusts can be set up in your Will to provide income and capital for your children's benefit. This may be enhanced by life insurance and death in service benefits. Specific provisions may be made for Guardians.
Religious/ moral issues - Do the Guardians have religious or other beliefs that are compatible with the upbringing that you would like your children to have?
Wills in English Giving effect to your wishes
Edward Briscoe MPIW, 3 years post qualification experience Level 2 certificate in Dementia Awareness Wills in English, Bakery Lodge, Skirmett, RG9 6TD. 5 miles from M40 jn 5, Stokenchurch. I come to you unless you prefer otherwise.