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JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
solicitors Birmingham

Guardianship of your children after your death

We are often asked how the law works in relation to appointing guardians for children under 18, in the event of the parents dying. Is this left to the courts or the family and who decides who should act as their legal guardians?

It is possible for you appoint guardians for children under contact us18 as part of your Will. This ensures that should you die your children will be looked after by the people you choose and this important decision will not be left to chance or decided by the Courts on your behalf.

If you do not appoint guardians in your Will, then the Courts will decide who should be appointed guardian of your children. By including this simple provision in your Will it can also help to avoid disputes between family members who would all like to help. By stating your wishes in a Will you can make it clear exactly what you would like to happen.

Choosing the right guardians for your children – things to consider

When thinking about who to appoint as legal guardian for your children, you will need to consider the following:

  • What is their present relationship with your children?
  • Are they able to offer your children a stable family environment?
  • How do you feel about their values and parenting skills?
  • Are they willing and able to handle the responsibility of caring for your children on a long-term basis?
  • Are they the appropriate age to be able continue to offer guardianship until the children reach adulthood

What does a guardian have to do?

The main duties of a guardian are:

  • Providing the day to day care of the children.
  • Making decisions about the children's upbringing, education, health, religion and welfare.
  • If you have left a property or other financial assets in trust for your children, (which they will inherit when they reach adulthood), usually a Guardian will also be one of the Trustees.

There are many things to consider when deciding on guardians. For more information and advice please contact us to speak to one of our experienced solicitors.