Tip: Parents, name the same guardian in your Wills.
A man and woman have children. While on holidays, they have a car accident and both parents perish, leaving behind two young children: a boy 12 years of age and a girl 10 years of age. They were also on holidays with the woman’s sister and her young family – the young cousins got along very well. It was assumed that the woman’s sister would automatically be guardian of their children as they spent so much time together.
The deceased couple do not have Wills. The man’s parents who live down the road from their home wanted custody of the children. They apply to the Family Court and there is a battle with the man’s parents and the woman’s sister. All the while, the young children are grieving the loss of their parents and now see their relatives fighting. They would love to live with their cousins. The Family Court chooses the man’s parents as the children’s guardians.
Unless you specifically name a guardian in your Will, any person with sufficient interest can apply for guardianship of your children. In this case, the Family Court decides who should become legal guardian based on the best interests of your child, and they do take notice of what’s in your Wills.
We know that choosing one person to be guardian is a tough decision, it’s probably the toughest decision you’ll ever make. It’s important that you and your spouse name the same person as the guardian in your Wills. Make a list of all the possible candidates and sit down together and work out the pros and cons of each person. We can also assist you with this decision.
If you have a Will and you’ve chosen a guardian, consider if this person is still the right person