Matthews IFA Ltd
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Where there's a will......!


Who is going to bring up your children if you are not around anymore?


As parents we often worry about what will happen to our children if we die when they're young, but do we do anything about it? If your children are still dependent on you, you need to make sure you have plans in place so they're looked after if you're not around to do it yourself.


If you and your partner die without making guardianship arrangements, lots of your friends and family could come forward to look after your children but, unless you've left specific instructions, the courts could choose someone you would never have wanted to look after them. Also, whilst their future's being decided by the courts (which can take a long time), your children could be taken into care.

Making sure your children are cared for by the people you choose is simple. Just make it clear, formally in writing, who you want to look after them

Unmarried parents


Most people are unaware that, if the mother and father aren't married and the mother dies, the father wouldn't automatically have responsibility for the children. It's important that the mother formally grants parental rights to the father, by appointing him as a legal guardian.


Who's allowed to appoint a legal guardian?


Any parent with ‘parental responsibility’, or both parents with 'parental responsibility' together, can appoint a guardian.

How do I appoint a legal guardian?


The easiest way is in your will. Many wills include a section on guardianship for young children. It's also a good idea to nominate a second person, just in case your first choice can't accept the responsibility.

If you don't have a will, or don't want to write a will, you can write a guardianship letter instead, but a will is the preferred method.

Who should I choose to look after my children?

There are lots of things you need to consider. Sit down and write a list of all the possible choices, and discuss the pros and cons for each. It's important to think about things like their own family situation, how old and how fit they are, where they live, and whether they could afford to care for your children. Don't forget to take account of their values and beliefs so you can be sure they would bring your children up in the way you planned to raise them yourself.

One way to ensure that they can afford to raise your children is to insure your lives for an amount that will adequately cover the annual expenditure, and write the policies in trust for your children, appointing their guardians as the trustees. Matthews IFA Ltd can not only advise you on setting up such policies, but can also arrange for your wills to be drawn up as well.

Remember to let whoever you choose know what you're planning. It might seem an obvious choice to you, but they could have no idea you have them in mind, and they may not be able to take on the responsibility in the way that you hoped.

If you need advice on your own situation please come and talk to us, we can help! Just remember, where there’s a will……there’s a way!



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