Appointing a legal Guardians at a Will is a subject that many refuse to undertake head-on but it is something that, if you are a parent and your children are under the age of eighteen, then you need to be ready for. A guardian is a person who is charged with the duty of looking after your child/children in the case of your passing. We will be referring here Lanarkshire and Scotland under Scots Law.
Any adult of your choosing can be a legal guardian to your child/children. This can be a close family friend with whom the child/children already have a bond together, or even a household member not already directly involved in their own care, such as an uncle or aunt. It’s important to take into account ahead of that the connection the child/children has together with the individual or persons you would like to appoint as their legal guardian. We also deal with this in family law.
What Exactly Does a Legal Guardian Have To Do?
This obviously involves feeding and clothing them, ensuring that their schooling and present standard of instruction is preserved, and also continuing to instil in them the distinction between right and wrong.
Moral guidance is a massive element in the avoidance of any child, and the individual or persons you Invite your children to must be able to continue instilling this sense of moral decency and respect for others. Appointing a Guardian If you are suffering from a terminal illness – or simply desire to set your affairs in order should any unforeseen circumstances occur -it’s always important to inform the person/s you wish to be guardian/s. It’s something that requires a great deal of contemplation and discussion before a conclusion is reached, so do let them the time and room to think it through. Do not create any hurried decisions or appoint someone as legal guardian without consulting them; similarly, if there’s absolutely no spouse or other parent to talk of, talk to your remaining family — if there are any — before appointing a legal guardian.
Should you want to appoint a legal guardian then your last will and testament should reflect this. You must include, in as much detail as you can, the reasons why you wish your designated guardian/s to take on the role of caring for your children. It’s crucial to make certain you explain your reasons for making this choice so there could be no confusion over your mental and emotional state at the time of creating the will. You must also guarantee that once the final will and testament has been drafted — or redrafted based on the circumstances — that the person or persons you have chosen to be your children’s legal guardian/s do not sign the will as a witness. This is what is known as a ‘conflict of interest’ and as this can lead to the will being contested.
You should be aware that if a will with specifics of legal guardianship is contested then Social Services are legally obliged to step in and ; (a) make a recommendation for guardianship themselves (b) take your children into foster care until such times as the states of the will have been clarified. If you’re in any doubt as to the way to begin making these provisions in your will you need to talk to a solicitor who specialises in family law and they will be able to provide you with all of the help and advice that you need.
The laws involving wills, intestacy and probate have been developed over the course of several hundred years, and aren’t frequently subject to major change — despite the potential exception to this could be Inheritance Tax (IHT), if those discriminated against the tax finally succeed. But while the legislation are well recognized, there are a number of inconsistencies between the procedures that must be adopted in England and Scotland. We also have dedciated solcitors who deal with childrens law.
Therefore, there is some legal jargon specific to Scottish wills which should be clarified. If you are looking for a lawyer or solicitor in Lanarkshire who specialise in this then please get in touch with Lanarkshire Law Practice 01698 747171