Should I Appoint Guardians
Most of you will have a good idea of what a guardian is, but maybe you aren’t quite so sure? To put it simply they are the people who will look after your orphan children who are under 18 if you die. It probably won’t happen to your family, but ask Jane Plume. most people are very surprised to learn that there are over 69,000 children in the care of local authority (March 2015). Nearly 4,000 of those are under 5 years old.
For most people, thinking about what would happen to their children in the event of their death is just too difficult and for some it’s just too much to bear, but the consequences of not thinking about it could be much worse.
Some parents will ask close friends or relatives to be their child’s Godparent – to ensure that they have a positive role model in their life. Who will be there to help show them right from wrong and to lead them down the right path, but most parent’s don’t consider who would take on the role of parent, should they be unable to do so themselves.
I have asked many of my friends who are parents what would happen to their children if they were to pass away before the children reach 18. Most of them believed that their parents, brothers or sisters or a close friend would look after them despite not writing a Will. Unfortunately that is plain wrong and that incorrect assumption leads to many parents not writing a Will and so risk their children ending up in foster care.
The sad truth is, that without appointing Guardians in your will, it is really the courts that will decide who will take care of your children, and this may not be the person that you want it to be and in some cases could be a perfect stranger, and for those larger families the children could end up being separated and living apart.
I often wonder why parents aren’t given this information when they first have a child – after all you seem to get told everything else! Thinking about what would happen to them in the event of your death isn’t the most pleasant topic, particularly when you are first enjoying your new baby, but it is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
Putting your child first sometimes means doing things that aren’t always nice, thinking about things that you don’t want to think about, but it is all part of the job of being a responsible parent.
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