Choosing a guardian for your child

If you’ve got children, you’ll need to consider them in your will. Not just their inheritance, but also guardianship for them if they are under 18 years of age.

A guardian represents your preferences for your children if you are no longer around. It’s important to name a guardian, as not having one can mean that the courts will have the final say.

Specifying the guardian’s role

The guardian won't necessarily be looking after your children on a day-to-day basis. They’re there to oversee your children’s welfare and interests more broadly, which could mean they will be liaising with an existing parent or guardian.

You can name more than one guardian, and it’s good to choose a backup as well.

What to consider

There are a range of factors to consider when choosing a guardian. Make a shortlist of possible candidates and weigh them up next to things such as:

  • Values and beliefs
  • Parenting skills
  • Finances and work commitments
  • Age and health
  • Location
  • Existing family circumstances

Keep in mind

It’s important to make your decision on what is best for your children. You shouldn’t choose someone that you think you have to choose or someone who might think it is their duty.

Also, it needs to be someone who will really love your children and relish the role.

Be open

Once you’ve chosen who you wish as the guardian of your children, discuss it with them in detail.

Be open about the financial support that your estate can provide and your expectations of the role.

It’s also important to be open with your relatives on who you have chosen and why.

Keeping it updated

You can change the named guardian at any stage. In fact, it’s important to do so if circumstances have changed for you, your children or the named guardian themselves.

Are you ready to name a guardian for your children?

A Public Trust expert can guide you through choosing a guardian in a will consultation. Alternatively, you can do it yourself online.

Get started with your will