When you come to writing your Will you should consider guardianship for your minor children.

 

Every parent wants a good upbringing for their children. Sadly not all parents are able to see their children grow up. You could still have an impact on how your minor children (children under the age of 18) are brought up if you weren’t around. You can make provision in your Will for how your children are brought up and who by.

 

This would be done firstly by appointing guardians (two or more people acting jointly) for your children. These would be the people that would look after your children should you not be around.

 

You could then write a letter of wishes to go along with your Will. In this letter of wishes you could then express how you would like your children to be brought up. Common examples of inclusions in letters of wishes relating to guardianship include raising children in line with the faith/religion of the parent, information as to the schooling you would like them to receive, or people that you would like them to keep contact with. further examples of inclusions could be as follows:

“I would like my children to be encouraged to keep on with their music lessons”, “I would like my children to continue their readings of the Quran”, or “It is my wish that my children are given the opportunity to do the sports they like”.

A point to consider is that a letter of wishes is not legally binding. It is therefore important that you choose someone who would raise your children in line with your wishes.

 

You could, if you wished, make a gift of money to the guardians in your Will to support them in the raising of your children. A safer option perhaps would be to leave some money in trust for your children and make your guardians the trustees. This way they may use the money for the benefit of your children but it is still protected for them when they reach 18.

 

A guardian can also appoint guardians for the children they accept guardianship of should something happen to them whilst the children are still minors.

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