Guardians – Roles and Duties

These are essentially the same as those of a parent and will include decisions about schooling and health as well as moral and social training. There will be financial, social and emotional implications, and these should be discussed with the parents before taking on the role.

The terms of the Will should be such that the executors (and subsequently the trustees) can do all that is necessary to provide financial help to the guardians.

While guardians have daily responsibility for the children, it is better for the financial control to be handled by someone different, normally the trustees of the estate.

Through their appointed Trustees of their Wills, most parents will make financial arrangements for their children in the event of their death, but guardians may be able to claim child benefit and receive a guardian’s allowance if both parents are deceased.

This means that appointed Trustees and Guardians can share potentially difficult decisions such as the provision of funds for the children’s upbringing and other capital expenditure before the youngest child attains 18.

Trustees in this event are obligated to use available estate funds to provide for the maintenance, benefit and advancement of the children. Trustees and Guardians need to work together to resolve issues and agree to the reasonable expenditure of funds.

An aside: If you have been appointed as a guardian, you should also make a Will to further safeguard the future of the children.


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