Let’s start by outlining,
What is Guardianship?
One very important part of any persons Will, when minor children are being taken in to consideration, is naming who the “testator(s)” (the person(s) making the Will) would like to act as “Guardian(s)” (the people who will take on the responsibility of bringing up any minor children that are survived until they reach the age of 18 years). Guardians would normally be other family or friends of the testators and of a similar age and good character.
Who can be a Guardian?
Anyone over the age of 18 can be appointed a Guardian; generally the parents of any minors should always seek the permission of those whom they wish to act as Guardians when naming them in their Will. They also need to bear in mind the trust that they are placing in the guardians to bring their children up as their own and the costs involved.
So what’s involved?
At the time when Guardianship becomes a need, the appointed Guardian(s) take on the binding responsibility of bringing up any minor children left in their care. This could place considerable financial strain on many people, which is why if Guardians are to be appointed, the “testators” may wish to leave provision in their Will possibly by way of a percentage of their estate or even a monetary value, such as a family income plan under trust in order that their children are provided for in the way that they would have wished to provide for them themselves.
Also if the Will creates any trusts, for minor beneficiaries, it is usual to appoint two trustees in order to oversee the trust, this could also be included as a guardian’s role.