Business expert Katherine Rowell from D&K Wills discusses some key things to consider when putting a legal guardianship in place.
One of the most frequent reasons for those with children to make a will is to put a legal guardianship in place, to ensure their children are looked after by friends or a family member of their choice.
This is often the biggest conversation we have during a will meeting. Key factors to consider are:
1. Location – research has shown that children benefit from being able to keep their life as close to the same as possible.
2. Relationship – who do your children know that they would feel comfortable with.
3. Financially – who do you know that would cope financially with additional children entering their life? As part of the process we also look at putting insurance into place which would cover additional costs in the form of an income. This is often a low-cost solution to the financial issues.
4. Age of guardians – this is a fine balancing act when taking into account the importance of the relationship children have, especially with grandparents.
It is estimated that 41,000 children lose a parent each year, many parents do not realise that in the absence of a legal guardianship (generally written within a will.)
It is the job of the courts to appoint a legal guardian this is not an instance process and until this decision is made it becomes the role of social services to provide care for orphaned children. Due to the importance of legal guardianships at D&K wills and estate planning we include free guardianships within all of our wills.