HAVE YOU MADE YOUR WILL? or are you going to leave your family to fight over the appointment of a Guardian in Court? Who is going to make sure your children’s wellbeing, education and maintenance is paramount? You need to appoint a Guardian.
Luke Curran & Co. Solicitors as a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP) have the expertise and the experience to offer the advice you need on how to make provision for your children if you are no longer here.
You have the ability to appoint a Guardian for your children though your Will. Guardians will be responsible for raising your children and you should appoint one in a legally binding manner rather than leaving that to the Courts. By the age of 16 around 1 in 20 children have lost a parent. If there are no surviving parents a Guardian will be called into play.
Choosing a Guardian isn’t easy and you should consider the qualities and values of a number of people close to you. You should consider their religion and culture, how responsible they are, their familiarity with your children, where they live and the impact it would have on their lives and your children’s lives if they were to live together. But most importantly your child will want to be loved and cherished, to be hugged, to feel as if they belong, to be appreciated and to be supported. Where will they find all of this and with the least disruption to their normal lives? You should choose one Guardian preferably or two if they are a couple. It is advisable to seek their consent in advance as you do not want them feeling morally bound but unwilling.
We also draft Trust Wills that will place your estate in a Trust Fund to be managed by your hand selected Trustees until your children are of an age that you deem fit to manage their own financial affairs.
A Trust is a legal structure which can be included as part of your Will and which can offer increased asset protection for the people you would like to benefit from your estate when you die (beneficiaries). Rather than the beneficiaries inheriting directly the Trustees will administer the property and assets you choose to leave (Trust Fund) in accordance with your directions for the beneficiaries.
A Trustee owes a legal duty to the Trust’s beneficiaries and must act in their best interests at all times. Being a Trustee can be a difficult and time-consuming role, and Trustees will need the support of a Solicitor that specialise in Trusts.
Choose Trustees that are trustworthy, financially minded and good with paperwork. You should seek a potential Trustees agreement to their appointment, as a reluctant Trustee may not be nearly as effective as a willing Trustee or may even refuse to act after your death.
We strongly recommend that you take action now to have this safeguard in place. You can always update it later if you need to make a change. See how our Trust and Estate Practitioners can help you.