One of the main motivations for parents of young children to write a will, is to ensure their children are brought up by the right people if the worst happens.
There are many factors to consider. Losing your parents at any age is difficult, but as a young child it is particularly traumatic, and as such your child would benefit from as little disruption as possible, now and over the coming years.
Many people think of their parents first, but there are clear issues with this. If your parents are 60 and in good health, and your children are 12 and 10, then that is one thing, but if your parents are 70 and your children are 3 and 1, then will they have the energy and indeed money to raise them? And if they die before your children reach 18, they may have to be uprooted again.
Brothers, sisters or close friends would generally be worth considering, especially if they have a good relationship with your child. Perhaps your children and theirs play together a lot? Even better!
It is important that your children have a good relationship with their potential guardians, and you are sure they would all feel comfortable living together. If possible, it would be better
if they did not have to move schools, to reduce the disruption.
You should also appoint substitute guardians, in case your first choice is unable to act.
Single parents should note that unless there is a major reason why their children should not go to their other parent, the latter would have a good claim to raise them. However, you would still want to appoint guardians in case the other parent is not able to take your children.
Where parents die with no guardian appointed, Social Services may become involved, and could appoint a guardian you would not have chosen, perhaps a sibling you do not get on with. Or your parents who will raise your child out of love, but due to their own circumstances may not have been the ideal choice.
As a last resort, your child could be put into care or a foster home, or adopted. As well as the difficulties of integrating into a stranger’s home, the child may feel that nobody wants them.
Once you have made your decision, always ask permission from your chosen guardians and substitutes, before you appoint them. Ensure they are aware of the responsibility they may
be asked to take on.
When producing your will, we will be pleased to discuss your choice of guardians with you to help you come to the right decision.
What to do next ?
If you would like to discuss your circumstances with regards to writing a Will, setting up a trust or a lasting power attorney, then please call 0845 689 1495 or get in touch via our secure contact form here .