Finding out that you are pregnant and then welcoming your new bundle of joy is a proud moment in any parents life…a point where EVERYTHING changes!
Now, we don’t ever want to put a downer on that…why would we? It is an AMAZING time, something that is joyful and should be celebrated.
However, what we would like you to have a think about is…
So maybe we should start with what Guardians are.
Put simply, your Guardians are the people that you choose to step into your shoes, should you no longer be around. These will be the people that you trust most to care for your children and take over parental responsibility.
Your Guardian will only step into the role of having parental responsibility for your child (or children) should something happen to both you and their other parent – even if you are divorced, or separated, parental responsibility will trump a Guardian appointed in a Will.
But…what if you have appointed Godparents, do you still need to appoint Guardians?
Well, Godparents have no legal right or obligation to take care of your children, either during your lifetime or when you are no longer around. Whereas the Guardians that are appointed in your Will have a legal responsibility to take care of your children when you are no longer able to.
Now, we are not saying that Godparents aren’t important. Being asked to be a Godparent is an absolute privilege, however, a Godparent is a more spiritual responsibility, whether that be in relation to the religious and spiritual upbringing or just generally being a close influence and role model for the child.
Some of the considerations that you may want to have a think about when choosing your Guardians are…
- Who are the people that you trust to care for your children and that your children have or will have a close relationship with?
- Where would your children like to be brought up?
Should you consider someone that lives relatively closeby, or would move to where the children are, should it be necessary?
- The age of your proposed Guardians.
Many people will choose their own parents (and their children’s grandparents) as their Guardians and they may well be best placed when the children are younger but as they get older (and so do your parents) will they still be able to cope with the parental responsibility?
- How would your proposed Guardians cope?
Would you be placing too much of a burden on your proposed Guardians, have they got their own children that would need taking care of in addition to yours?
- What about finances?
This is often a key consideration for many, especially when considering a burden placed on someone, although they would be able to access funds (from their Inheritance and Trusts) to take care of them and for their upbringing, you may also want to consider how becoming Guardians would affect them financially.
These are, of course, just a few of the considerations that you may want to take into account but there may well be other things that are also important considerations for you and your family. There is no right or wrong answer and the choice will be individual to each of us and may well change as time goes on.
Guardians are written into your Will and can be updated and amended at any time. We recommend reviewing your Will every 3-5 years, whatever your circumstances, but as things change, the children grow older (and your chosen Guardians) you may want to think about changing these. That is not a problem. A Will is a working document and should be reviewed and updated as your life changes.
If you would like any more information then please catch up with Leah & Neil using their contact details below, or check out some of their related articles:
Leah & Neil run Total Legacy Care, a business dedicated to planning for later life and protecting your nest egg.
If you would like a free consultation to discuss plans for your future they can be contacted on01727 865121 or Info@TotalLegacyCare.co.uk
We get people talking about the ‘Elephant in the Room’ and our ultimate aim is to help our clients protect their nest egg and ensure that it goes exactly where they want it to, planning for their family’s future.
We know these are difficult conversations that have often been put off. We want to make this as easy as possible for you and are happy to meet in our offices, come to your home or meet up for a cuppa. We understand how important these decisions are and so there is no time limit on our meetings.