Are you considering starting a family or do you have a newborn or a young child already? If so, now is the time to get your Wills in place to ensure your children are protected in the future.

Preparing a Will is not only a safeguard for your children, as a parent, your Will provides you the opportunity to nominate a guardian for minor children in the event of your death. Naming a guardian in your Will gives you a say in who cares for your children rather than the courts.

In most cases, if your child’s other parent survives you, they assume guardianship without any other further action. However, it is important to nominate a guardian in the event that neither parent is available to assume the role.

A guardian becomes responsible for the child’s physical care, health, education, and welfare until he or she reaches 18 years of age. This includes providing the basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, health care decisions and educational choices.

The guardian is not responsible to meet the child’s financial needs with his or her own money. Usually, a trustee, who may also be the executor, handles those arrangements with money provided by the estate and dedicated for that purpose.

You should have complete confidence in the person you nominate, and you should be certain that your nominee is willing to accept the responsibility of raising your children should the need actually arise. Family members or trusted friends are generally good options.

For additional information on Wills and Estate Planning specific to your needs, please seek professional legal advice from a qualified solicitor.