Is it worthwhile appointing a guardian for my infant children under my Will?

The simple answer is "yes".

A guardian appointed under the Will has all the powers, rights and responsibilities for making decisions about the long-term care, welfare and development of a child that are ordinarily vested in a guardian.  An example of such a decision would be in relation to a child's education and religious upbringing.

Generally, the appointment will take effect on the death of the last surviving parent.  In that case, the guardian would also have the right to have the child's daily care (ie. custody of the child) unless another person obtains this right under a Court Order.  This is your opportunity to express your wisehes as to who should look after your child and this appointment will stand unless somebody strongly disagrees and he or she would need to go to Court to argue the point (with no guarantee of success).

The appointment of a guardian can also provide comfort to divorced parents.  You can specify that the appointment should take effect on your death, even if the other parent is still alive.  The surviving parent would have to make decisions about the long-term care, welfare and development of the child jointly with the guardian you have appointed unless he or she applies to the Court to have the appointment revoked.

Often, the thing worrying young couples the most is who would look after their children if they were no longer around.  Appointing a guardian under your Will is your opportunity to choose the person you want to look after your children and can give tremendous peace of mind.

 

This information is provided as a general guide only and should not be used or relied upon by any person without obtaining legal advice in relation to their own circumstances.