LATEST TWEETS

Is your organisation protected from employee social media legal risk? https://t.co/oUOH7G7SSi
Taking your first commercial lease? Read our handy advice here https://t.co/Sr7zkWYtil
Good news - our phone line is now working again, so you can reach us on 01566 772375 - we look forward to speaking to you!
RT @rights_net: TRUE OR FALSE? As an employer, you could be held liable for an employee's damaging social media post

Appointing a guardian for your children

The possibility of both you and your partner dying while your children are still under 18 verges on the unthinkable but, however unlikely this situation might seem, it is important that you make provision for it in your will. Unless you have given specific instructions, children left without any parents can be placed in care and the court will appoint an official guardian to look after them. You can avoid this by appointing a guardian of your choice, providing peace of mind that your children would be left in the care of someone you trust.

Deborah Adams, Director of Private Client department at Parnalls Solicitors, explains more:-

The role of a guardian
A child’s natural parents usually have what is known as parental responsibility for them, and they can appoint a guardian to take on this responsibility in their place if they both die. The guardian will only officially take on this role if there is no one else alive with parental responsibility, and it will end as soon as the child is 18.

Guardians make decisions about important aspects of a child’s life, such as their education, medical treatment and where they live. A guardian is not required to support a child using their own resources, so they need to be provided with regular income or a lump sum of money to help them financially when carrying out their role.

Why you should appoint a guardian
If you die, your children may stay with family or friends but, if you have not appointed a guardian this would be only a temporary arrangement. The local authority might take your children into its care while a court decides what long-term arrangement would be best. This can be more complicated in complex family situations where, for example, there have been second marriages and it may not be immediately obvious where would be best for the children to live. This lack of certainty can be traumatic, especially for young children, and can lead to family disagreements about who should care for them.

As well as providing certainty for your family, appointing a guardian allows you to choose someone you and your children know and trust, and to make a considered choice. For instance, although grandparents might be an obvious option, will they be able to look after teenagers in their old age? You also need to consider things such as where the guardian lives and what this might mean for schooling, and whether you are comfortable with the guardian’s parenting style, values and religious beliefs.

How a solicitor can help
There are lots of issues to consider when appointing a guardian in your will, so it is important to seek legal advice at an early stage. Your solicitor can draw up a new will for you, or add the guardianship appointment to an existing one.

At the same time, your solicitor can make financial arrangements for your children in your will. You may wish it to say that if both parents die, the money left after paying debts and expenses – known as the residuary estate – is held on trust for your children until they reach a certain age. The trustees of the money usually have the power to make some of it available for the children’s benefit, for example, to pay school fees or to be given to the guardian to use. Some parents also choose to leave a cash gift to the guardian as an expression of gratitude.

Changing circumstances
Over time you might change your mind about your chosen guardian and want to appoint someone else instead, for example if your first choice becomes ill. Your solicitor can help you either to make a new will or to make a codicil, which is an addition to your will that modifies part of it.

Letter of wishes
Your solicitor may also recommend that you have a document known as a letter of wishes. This is read alongside your will and can provide guidance on how you would like your children to be raised or money in a trust fund to be spent.

Power of attorney
It is also important to consider what would happen if your children were left with only one parent and that parent loses capacity, for example, because of a brain injury. In that situation, a legal document called a lasting power of attorney (LPA) would allow people of your choice to make decisions about your children on your behalf. An LPA cannot give someone legal responsibility for your child, but it can give them the ability to manage your finances. It can also allow them to access your money immediately if necessary, which might be very important where children are concerned.

If you require advice on appointing a guardian, or any other private client or family matter, please contact Deborah Adams on 01566 772375 or email adamsd@www.parnalls.com or Alexis Hager hagera@www.parnalls.com

MORE NEWS

Trustees’ duty to give information to beneficiaries

Five problems with a leasehold property

Taking your first commercial lease

Is your organisation protected from employee social media legal risk?

Have you been targeted by negative social media posts?

Farmers be alert when being inspected

Help for House Sellers?

Don’t let your digital assets end up in a digital grave

Valuing an estate for probate

Development proposals and your local authority search

What can you do if your child is injured in a serious accident

NetRights welcomes new protection for social media users

SHOULD I GET A LAWYER FOR A SPEEDING OFFENCE?

Supreme Court recognises that social media is a “casual medium” in libel battle

Choosing the best conveyancer who is right for you

Making a will after a second or subsequent marriage

Option or promotion agreement – which is best for landowners?

Anonymous pub and restaurant online reviews leave a bad taste

Have you had an accident involving a horse?

Help to Buy – beware of some cracks in the structure

Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney

Changes to Energy Performance Certificate for Landlords

Had a cycling accident? Your route to obtaining compensation

New year, new home: tips to sell your home in the New Year 

Tax Planning for your inheritance

Hearing loss: when your employer may be liable

Buying a home for your retirement, five things you need to consider

Farmers plan to diversify after Brexit

Ministers press ahead with probate fee shake-up - reports BBC News

Botched dental treatment? You may be entitled to compensation

Why a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is a good idea

Will the new charge on building developments in Cornwall affect you?

Energy Performance Certificates – Do They Matter?

HMRC Challenging Stamp Duty Land Tax Payments

Ben Mitchell qualifies as a solicitor

The potential implications of Brexit on employment law

Appointing a guardian for your children

Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018

New Agriculture Bill published

Will Brexit affect my pension?

Dreaming of a holiday home? Sort out the legals before putting your feet up

Lasting Power of Attorney by Deborah Adams

Settled status after Brexit by Alexis Hager

How to choose an executor to administer your estate when you die

How overage agreements can boost profits from your land

Top tips for first-time buyers

How Could Brexit Affect My Farm?

Wills & Succession in Spain by Deborah Adams

Brexit ­– an international and local view by Alexis Hager, Litigation

Capital gains tax - important facts for non-residents of the UK

Buying a home: the importance of making sure the seller is entitled to sell

Changing a will after someone has died: it is possible and it could save you money

Your responsibilities when you have people working in your home

Sad passing of Battle of Britain pilot who served with Parnall family member

Considerations when buying a heritage property

Disciplinary proceedings at work: guide for employers

Employers should have a disciplinary process in place, but just following this may not be enough to avoid falling foul of the law and exposing yourself to the risk of an employment tribunal claim.

Selling your land through a conditional contract

Why you should always use a solicitor to prepare your will

Putting your legal affairs in order

How to extend a lease on a flat or buy a share of the freehold

Delayed Health Checks

New Marketing Team at Parnalls Solicitors Ltd

Social media: snooping in the recruitment process

A landlord's guide to tenant alterations

Equity release, your questions answered

Short term lettings: avoiding the pitfalls

How to apply for a grant of probate

Are you entitled to a fee refund for your Lasting Power of Attorney?

What to do when someone dies

Business disputes: can they ever be avoided?

Accident at work: what to do and when if you have been injured

Director appointment

What type of will do I need?

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 2)

Conveyancing quotes: what you need to know

New appointment in Litigation

Property boundaries and rights of access: what are they and why do they matter?

Mental Health - we can get you the help you need

Business rates: a financial ticking time bomb (Part 1)

Leaving a gift to charity in your will

Parnalls helps two leading Devon organic meat companies to become one

Katherine Flashman Kitson is appointed Governor of St Joseph's School, Launceston

Financing your home purchase (Part 2)

New rules on debt recovery may delay payment of consumer debts

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 2)

Our Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney for Your Business Interests

Financing your home purchase (Part 1)

Careless replies to pre-contract commercial property enquiries could land you in trouble

Making financial gifts during your lifetime (Part 1)

Property referrals and recommendations - what to consider

World Alzheimer’s Day: Three-step plan to get your legal affairs in order

Legal considerations when setting up a business (Part 2)

How to avoid falling victim to property fraud

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease? Part 3

Top 10 reasons to use a solicitor to make your lasting power of attorney

What legal considerations do I need to think about when setting up a business? (Part 1)

Why you need to update your will as soon as you decide to separate or divorce

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?  Part 2

The Bank of Mum and Dad: top tips when lending money to your children  

DON’T ACCEPT 50/50 ON AN ACCIDENT IN A COUNTRY LANE

The importance of insurance when life trips you up

The role of a court appointed deputy

What are the key terms that need to be covered in a commercial lease?

Ten common debt recovery mistakes

How do I know if my relative has the mental capacity to make a will?

Motorcycle accidents - what to consider when claiming compensation

Top tips for pushing your house purchase through as quickly as possible

How does the new inheritance tax perk work?

The ultimate personal injury and accident claim checklist

Jargon-busting guide to Lasting Power of Attorney

10 reasons to appoint a Personal Injury solicitor

What happens when mum or dad are ill and can’t make decisions?

How firms can take advantage of the rise of alternative finance

Should Stamp Duty be abolished?

Teenager paralysed after falling off a horse awarded £3 million in compensation

RBS to pay investors £800 million

Not happy with your accident claim lawyers?

Parnalls expands its litigation team

Hard work pays off for our Trainee Legal Executive.

Katherine Scott Flashman Kitson celebrates 20 years

How will the new Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) affect you?

Exciting new business hub unveiled in North Cornwall

Be careful what you post on Facebook

Parnalls rolls out the support at Wadebridge Wheels

New trainee solicitor appointed

Mark Parnall comments on Brexit in The Law Society Gazette