The Appointment of Testamentary Guardians in your Will.
Lewis Thompson Associate Solicitor at Booth Ince and Knowles discusses the importance of the appointment of Testamentary Guardians within a Will.
It is important to remember that your Last Will & Testament doesn’t simply have to concern your money and finances. Whilst a Will is important to provide your Executors and Trustees with a direction as to how you wish for your estate to be dealt with (your money, property, investments and assets etc). There are other aspects to a Last Will and Testament that can be included and can be just as important.
One particular consideration is the appointment of Testamentary Guardians.
Testamentary Guardians are trusted persons that you can appoint within your Will to look after any children of yours that are under the age of 18 at the date of your death.
What should I consider when choosing a Testamentary Guardian?
The person you choose to appoint as Testamentary Guardian of your children should be someone that you can trust- this person could be a sibling, grandparent or other close relative that you see fit to appoint.
Your appointed Testamentary Guardian will be responsible for raising your child following your death and so, you should choose a trusted person to act in this capacity that you are confident will raise your child in a manner to which you would wish for them to be raised.
You should of course approach your intended Guardians before you seek to include them within your will to avoid any surprises at the date of your death- surprises like this can sometimes happen!
A consideration of the following points can assist you in your decision as to who to appoint:
- The locality of the Guardian and where your child will live.
- Whether the Guardian has experience with children already.
- If the Guardian will be responsible for any other children at the time. Do they already have children of their own?
- Would your child/children be comfortable living with this person and their children? Are their children already living with the Guardian of a similar age?
- Will your child be able to continue in the same school and education? Are there any other things that could help with your child’s familiarity following your death?
- Are there religious beliefs to be considered and that you wish to be continued after your death?
- The age of the appointed Guardian; is there a possibility that this Guardian could die before your children reach the age of 18 as a result of thier age and/or ill health etc?
Whilst you can appoint replacement Testamentary Guardians to act in the event that your original Guardians die or are unable to act; a consideration of the above points could help you to choose a suitable person to include as Guardian of your children within your Will.
Will the Testamentary Guardian be automatically appointed following my death?
The appointment of a Guardian under your Will is a direction as to who you wish to look after your children should you die and your children still be under the age of 18. Before a Guardian can be appointed however, those with parental responsibility already in existence will be responsible for looking after your child.
All birth mothers have parental responsibility for their children. If a father is married to the mother at the date of birth of the child he too will have parental responsibility. It should be noted that an unmarried father will only have parental responsibility for a child if he is registered on the child’s birth certificate. Those that have formally adopted children or have been appointed by a court will also have parental responsibility.
If you have any questions in relation to Wills and the appointment of Testamentary Guardians you can contact Lewis Thompson Associate Solicitor to discuss further- 0161 368 2134 email@example.com