Appoint a guardian
If you have children under the age of 18, you may want to consider appointing a guardian for them in your Will in case you die before they reach the age of 18. This allows you to choose someone you approve of to take care of your children, giving you peace of mind.
Guardians may only be appointed for children who are under 18, known as ‘minors’.
If you fail to appoint a guardian for your child and both you and the child’s other parent die, the Court will typically have to appoint a guardian and this may not have been the person you would have chosen yourself.
If the courts deem there is no one suitable your children could end up being taken into care – with someone they and you don’t even know.
If you appoint guardians for your minor children, who will pay for their upkeep? Many parents deal with this issue by including a provision in their Will that their ‘residuary estate’ – that is, the amount of money left after all debts and expenses has been paid – should be held ‘on trust’ for the children. This means that the money is held safely for the children until they reach a certain specified age – usually 18, 21 or 25.
The trustees – those who look after the money for the minor children – usually have the power to make some of the money available for the children’s benefit before they are entitled to it. They could, for example, pay school fees for a child directly to the child’s school, or to the child’s guardian to use for the child’s benefit.
Now look at your current situation – what does your will say? Have you made provision for a Guardian for your children?
Have you made provision for their financial up keep- money for the Guardians to fund the extra expense – this may involve the guardians having to extend their home to fit your children in – or even moving home. They made need to get a bigger vehicle to accommodate the extra children.
All these things need to be taken in to account.
Are your children in Private School – do you want that to continue should you not be here?
Do you even have a will – the chances are you don’t. 2/3rds of people don’t and the ones that do the wills are so poorly drafted they need to be rewritten anyway.
Don’t worry though – no will means the Government has written one for you – its below for you attention…
“It’s never too early – but it’s often too late!!!”