Keep Your Guardianship Up

Selecting a guardian for minor children is an important step all parents should take.  But over the course of a minor child’s life it is not uncommon for the circumstances that led to the selection of the original guardian to change.  Families or guardians can move far apart, problems with health can occur, financial circumstance can change or there can simply be a falling out.  To ensure minor children are placed under the guardianship of the best suited person, parents should occasionally remind themselves who would look after their children if needed and update their wills to reflect any change in desired guardians.  A change to the selection of guardian can easily be made as a codicil to an existing will.

Many parents are also unaware that the guardian of minor children appointed in their wills will only fill that role for the first 90 days following their death. Permanent guardianship of the children can only be appointed by the Courts and parents should ensure their preferred guardians are aware of the requirement to apply.  It is possible for people other than the guardians selected by the deceased parents to apply to the Courts for permanent guardianship though it should be noted that the Courts are usually very reluctant to overturn the choice of the parents unless it is in the best interest of the child/children.

André Munroe