Patrick kindly brought our attention several issues that we were totally unaware of and assisted us throughout the entire process in a friendly & professional manner. Gary Cox
0117 907 1002
Willing to give peace of mind
Most of us will live to old age. Unfortunately in some cases accidents and illness can happen. It is important to decide who would be responsible for a child’s care should such eventualities arise.
Parents assume relatives would step in, but if no guardian has been appointed social services will become responsible for a child’s welfare and family members would need to be checked and approved before a child were released into their care. Naturally this would be distressing for everyone concerned and such complication can be avoided by appointing guardians in a Will.
When choosing guardians, it’s always best to avoid argument over whose relative is better and concentrate on what is best for your child. Who knows them best? Who would bring him up as you want? Who will maintain contact with all family members?
You should also consider who would look after the child’s financial needs. Until a child is at least 18, assets will be held in trust. Some clients prefer that trustees be the same people as the guardians, allowing them easier access to trust funds for the child’s benefit. Others prefer to appoint different people to each role to allow greater control over the use of trust funds.
No parent should leave these important issues to chance, but should instead make sure such matters are clearly defined in a will.
Parents are generally anxious to do everything they can to protect their children and to see to their needs, yet surprisingly few consider what would happen if they were no longer around to do so themselves. Most of us will live to old age and see our children grow to adulthood, but it is important to realise that accidents can happen and it is only prudent to make provision just in case.
Robin and Robina are a young married couple who have never thought about making a Will. They are doing reasonably well, have made a good home for themselves and their twin children and are still at an age where they can believe that they are going to live forever.
This evening, they have been out celebrating a wedding anniversary, leaving the identical three year old twins George and Georgina in the care of their neighbour’s sixteen year old daughter Joan.
Statistically most road traffic accidents occur near to home and involve alcohol. Robin and Robina have sensibly abstained from drinking, but unfortunately lorry driver Stan has been transporting his load of continental lager from Eastern Europe for the best part of 48 hours, his only rest coming during the ferry crossing to the UK. He falls asleep just as he is approaching Robin and Robina who are only have half a mile left on their car journey home. The lorry speeds through a red light while Robin and Robina are driving through the junction and the resulting crash kills them both outright.
The emergency services identify the couple from their personal possessions and car registration. The police call at Robin and Robina’s home, finding Joan waiting to get off home and the twins asleep in bed. In such circumstances the priority is to protect the children, so they are taken off to a place of safety, becoming the responsibility of the local authority social services department.
Robina’s sister Roberta comes forward next day looking to take the twins, but the local authority must be satisfied that she is a suitable person to care for them so checks will have to be made, all of which takes time. Had there been a Will appointing her as guardian, Roberta would simply have needed to produce that document and she would have been able to take the twins and care for them.
Westbury Wills is a member of the
Society of Will Writers