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Who Gets the Kids? – Avoiding Family Arguments

One of the most serious decisions facing parents of younger children will be who has responsibility for bringing up their children should the parents die before the children become adults and how they will carry out those responsibilities.

Indeed for many parents this might be the single most important decision they have to make when dealing with a Will and it may be the reason they have not made Wills if making this decision is proving difficult. It may be, for example, that the two parents have differing views on how best to deal with this sensitive issue.

It is vitally important to ensure that children under the age of 18 are cared for and brought up by someone who is trusted by the parents and who will provide the love and care that is so essential in a young person’s development particularly where they have lost their parents.

If you are a parent without a Will or if your Will is out of date, issues of guardianship should be one of the items at the top of your agenda for consideration. It might be for example that you appointed your own parents as guardians in your Will but you are now finding that they might be less capable of bringing up boisterous lively children particularly if their own health is starting to decline or if they are just slowing down. It may be that the people you have chosen are not in a position practically or financially to meet their responsibilities or that you have drifted apart. If you have made no Will at all those left behind may have differing views about your wishes.

We would recommend that you would review your guardian provisions within your Will every couple of years once a Will is in place to ensure that those that you have appointed remain the best people to look after the interests of your children in your absence.