Parents will often want to use their wills to appoint guardians – just in case the worst should happen while children are aged less than 18. This can often be one of the most challenging aspects in giving instructions for a will.
In considering who would make the most appropriate guardians, parents should consider factors such as their age, where they live and how well they would cope with children of a given age.
Considerations like cultural background and outlook can also be important.
The over-riding concern is that children should be in the most appropriate environment at a time when they may have suffered great trauma through the loss of one or more parents.
Consideration should be given as to whether guardians should also be trustees of any funds set aside for the child or children. The guardian would be best positioned to understand the needs of the child(ren).
Frequently a guardian is appointed as one of two or three trustees of the funds held for the child(ren) so providing a suitable balance between guardianship and custodianship of funds.