Appointing guardians for your children
As Parents we worry, we just can’t help it. Are my children happy, do I spend enough time with them, are they doing well at school, how can I help them do better… the list is inexhaustible (believe me I’ve tried!). It’s just part of the job. Like keeping them safe, loving, and protecting them. When it comes to our little rascals we leave nothing to chance. However, there is one fundamental thing that parents aren’t spending enough time worrying about… appointing guardians for their children.
Who would look after your children if you died?
I know, it’s not something that we like to think about. So we kind of don’t. In fact, 79% of all Parents* with minors (children not Morris) have not made any legal provisions for their children’s care should, the unthinkable happen. And it does happen, over 2,400 children in the UK are bereaved every year. Many of us have had the ‘if I died’ conversation with family and friends but a lot of the time it remains as just that, a conversation, which would never hold up in a court of law. Why, when appointing Guardians is so easy, are so many of us leaving our children’s future in the hands of the courts?
If there are no Guardians in place, what could happen?
- The children concerned may be placed into temporary foster care
- The court then decides who will look after them, it’s possible this might not be who their parents would have chosen
- In the unlikely event that no one suitable can be found the children may remain in the care system until they are 18
So, what do you need to do? You’re going to need to write your Will. I know, but it really is the only way to ensure your choice of Guardians is legally binding. Write your Will, state your wishes in it and your decision will be upheld by the court. Simple.
You’re never too young to make a Will
The majority of us look at writing a Will as something to be reserved for when were are nearing our dotage, when we are considering what should happen to the personal wealth we have (hopefully!) built up. The fact is, the arrival of children makes the consequences of dying without a will far worse than the arrival of old age!
While a Will can contain instructions on how to distribute your wealth, more importantly for younger people it can contain your choices on what should happen to your children if you died while they are under 18, like who would look after them.
Who you choose to be your children’s Guardians needs proper consideration, we will be discussing this over the next few weeks but, essentially these are the people that will take over from you. Providing love, support and importantly security to your children at a time in their young lives when they will need it the most. The alternative being social care stepping in and looking after them until the courts can decide who to appoint to care for them which is not ideal.
Remember that a Will can be changed at any time – in fact we advise you to revisit your Will every 2-3 years, so the provisions you make can be updated as your circumstances change. But the fact of the matter is that without a will you could be leaving your children open to even more heartache and anxiety in what would already be a truly devastating time.
Over 2,400 children in the UK are bereaved every year
Life is unpredictable and sometimes the worst does happen so making sure you are properly prepared for any eventuality makes perfect sense. And, it could mean the difference between your children receiving the love, care and support they need when they are at their most vulnerable or not.
If you have Children, you must have a Will. In fact we believe that it’s so important that, up until the 31st March you can have your Will written for just £85 – Click here for full offer details.
Then you really can say you’ve done everything that you can to protect your children. Now, if they would just clean their teeth without complaining….
*Will aid 2014 survey