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Legal guardians(6 Posts)
We're expecting our first baby next year and I'm aware we should appoint legal guardians, should the worst happen.
What are the most important things to think about?
There are various people we could consider, however the sorts of things I'm struggling with are:
* Some live far away (e.g. opposite end of the country);
* Some live abroad;
* Some are couples where we're close to one of the people but not the other;
* Some don't have kids so we've no idea about their parenting style;
* Some are our parents, currently aged mid 50s and mid 60s so may not be able to cope well with children in the future;
* Some are transitional (e.g. younger siblings, who are not fully settled in the city they currently live in - young and fairly mobile, not in particularly longterm relationship, possibly won't have kids for several years yet).
Also, how does it work with money? We own our house mortgage free so that'd be the main asset. We will also build up savings - so would this all go to the guardian?
How many guardians should we appoint?
We would need to make some compromises, e.g. decide if it's more important that they'd remain with family (who all live far away) or stay local with our friends. It's so hard to know what the most important thing would be.
So much to think about!
Find Mumblechum on here. Try 'legal' section. ( Not sure how to link/highlight her) Talked us through the process and organised mirror wills for us. She's fab
It is your choice how much money goes the guardians. I am my nephew's guardian and I would be horrified if my sister thought I would take his inheritance!
However, it's a very real and practical consideration that having another child costs money - my sister is also my daughter's guardian.
Two words for you: LIFE INSURANCE!
In my will (helped by Mumblechum - great recommendation!) almost all my assets including a life insurance payout go into trust for my daughter with my sister as trustee. My sister can choose to use any money necessary for my daughter. To avoid a situation of feeling guilty or unsure about using it, I've also left £20K outright to my sister. She knows this, and why - I want her to have money without worrying about trust responsibilities. For example, if she decided that a big holiday as a new family would help emotionally, I don't want her having to justify spending my daughter's inheritance on all the flights!
The legal / financial side is easy with the right help.
The right person is harder. No reason you can't name more than one person. Both sets of parents are relatively young. How about naming them with a friend as a back up if parents were unable when it came to it? At their ages I would trust family first.
Thank you both very much for the recommendations, HowManyMoreTimes and Ellisandra.
OP, you need to appoint more than one guardian. That way, if the unthinkable happened, those people would decide among themselves about who was more appropriate to care for your child/ren.
So for example if you and your husband somehow managed to both die when your child is a toddler, and the grandparents are still in their 50s, it would probably be best that s/he went to live with them, even though that may mean a geographical move. If it happened right in the middle of the GCSE/A level phase, it would generally be better to stay with someone who is close by so there was continuity in education and friendship groups.
So far as the money side goes, the executor/trustees are the people who administer a trust fund on behalf of the children. They agree with the guardian who has day to day care about how much should be taken from the trust fund (usually just a monthly direct debit for ongoing expenses), and of course that's reviewed as and when necessary.
Feel free to PM me for more info.
Sorry to high jack op
mumblechum how does more than one guardian work? What if both parties think they're the best to look after child/ren?
MyMrKnightley, the will can include a clause setting out your wishes, for example that if the youngest child is under 11, that they live with X but after that they live with Y (to take into account ageing grandparents), but usually I recommend that you leave a letter expressing your wishes with your copy of the will. That can be reviewed and updated at any time and I usually suggest that it's looked at annually.
The letter may set out your wishes not just for where the children should live but, for example, that if a child has a particular talent, that that should be fostered so far as possible. The letter can then be replaced as time goes by, for example when the child is mid-teens, it can say that the child's own wishes should be the overriding factor in deciding who they should live with.
But the easiest thing is to carefully choose the guardians who you know will put your children's needs first, and speak to them beforehand.
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