Do you have a Will that states who would be the legal guardians of your children if something awful were to happen to you? So many people do not have a Will as they find it too upsetting to think about, or simply put it off by saying they don’t have time, and for parents, this is often even more so the case.
We understand that the idea is a distressing one, but did you know that if you do not have a Will stating who you give legal guardianship to, your children are likely to be taken into care until a solution is found. This can take months to go through The Family Court and Social Services, and your children could be housed miles away from their home, meaning they would have to attend a new school and miss out on seeing friends and loved ones during an unimaginably difficult time.
The process of making a Will is quick and simple and would save your children even more pain if anything were to happen to you, and it would mean you can rest easy knowing that your children will be loved and cared for in your absence.
One of the most difficult things to consider is who to pick as their legal guardian. How you choose a guardian is a very personal process and should always be discussed with the individuals you are considering for the role. The most obvious choices may not be the best fit for your little ones, so here are a few things to consider when looking at your options:
· Age - It is important to choose someone physically and mentally capable of looking after your children through a very difficult period. If you are making this Will when your children are very young, it’s also necessary to consider whether the guardian in question is likely to be fit and well to care for your children in 10 or 15 years’ time.
· Current experience – it may be helpful for your children if the guardian already has reasonable experience with children. Equally, you don’t want the guardian to have so many of their own children that they wouldn’t have enough time or space to help yours through this difficult period.
· Lifestyle – consider other commitments or hobbies the guardian you are considering has, and whether this will fit in with raising children.
· Your personal values – you want your children to grow up with people who are going to have similar parenting skills to you and be sure that they will raise them in conjunction with any values that are particularly important to you, such as religious beliefs.
· Location – if something devastating has happened, children need as much continuity in their lives as possible, so picking individuals who live near enough to your current location that they could continue attending the same school and seeing their friends and family is a very good idea.
· Financial situation – if you would be leaving behind substantial provisions for your children then this may not be an issue, but if you know the guardians will need to financially support your children, then this is a big factor.
· Their opinions – you may feel that the guardian in mind is a great fit for all these categories, but this is a big responsibility, and not one that should be taken lightly, so if they don’t feel able to commit to this, then you may need to look at other options.
There are lots of other areas to consider when choosing a guardian for your children, but it will give you peace of mind once it’s done knowing your children would be cared for in the event of your death. If you want help with preparing a Will, please ring us on 01233 65 97 96, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, head over to our website, https://www.squiggleconsult.co.uk, to book a consultation with someone in our experienced legal team.