When making a Will it is often necessary to consider appointing a guardian. This is the person who will look after your children in the event that anything happens to you before they turn 18.
The guardian will be responsible for bringing up your children so it is essential that you choose someone that you trust and that has similar views to you… as well as ensuring that the chosen guardian is happy to take on the role. If you want to appoint a guardian, talk to our Wills and Probate team to arrange an appointment.
Are you allowed to appoint a guardian?
In order to appoint a guardian, you must have Parental Responsibility for your children. This means that you have various rights and responsibilities in relation to them. All mothers automatically have Parental responsibility for their children, but not all fathers do.
A father will automatically have Parental Responsibility if he was married to the mother at the date of birth, if he is named on the birth certificate (for births since 1 December 2003) or if he jointly registered the birth with the mother. A father can also acquire Parental Responsibility if he marries the child's mother, has a formal Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother, or if the Court grants an order granting this.
In certain circumstances, Parental Responsibility may also be granted to other people, for example to same-sex parents or step-parents.
If you have Parental Responsibility then it is essential to ensure that you appoint a Guardian to look after your children in the event of your death, especially if you are the only person with Parental Responsibility. For more information about appointing a guardian please contact one of our team and we will be happy to arrange an appointment to see you to discuss your needs further.
Factors to consider when appointing a guardian
For more information on making a Will or appointing a Guardian please download one of our guides, or telephone our team who will be more than happy to have a chat with you.