What are the most common mistakes made when choosing guardians?
1 Choosing a married couple without stating what happens if they divorce or one of them dies.
The solution to this is to make sure you state specifically what will happen if death or divorce occurs.
2 Picking only one guardian.
What happens if your first choice guardian can't take on the responsibility as their circumstances change, (or they die)? You should always have an alternative (and always state those who you don't want – see below).
3 Not having a financial plan in place to take care of your children.
Your chosen guardians should not have to be making major financial decisions on behalf of your children. Nor should they be expected to pay for their upbringing.
4 Relying only on a Will
Guardians can also act for you if you become incapacitated. That's why you should also have a power of attorney to allow someone to make decisions for you and the benefit of your children.
5 Failing to exclude people you DO NOT WANT to bring up your children.
Even if you have stated specific guardians there may be a challenge from others who want to bring up your children. The best thing to do is to specifically exclude these people by name if you don't want them to.
6 Not naming short-term guardians
You may need someone short-term to take care of your children if your guardians cannot be there in an emergency. For example a babysitter, neighbour or relative could perform this role. Otherwise, if something happens to you, your children could end up in social care for a while before your chosen Guardians can arrive and take over.
If you would like any help reviewing your current arrangements to care for your children please call Madeleine Young on 0118 955 9616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on 25/02/2020