Do you Need to Appoint a Guardian in Your Will?

While wills are never something that you want to use, they will always be something that you are glad you have. This is especially true if you have children, as there are many considerations to keep in mind to ensure that they are cared for if you pass away before they turn 19. One of the most difficult considerations when it comes to this part of estate planning is naming a guardian for your children. As experts in wills and estate planning, the team at Sidhu & Associates knows that there are many reasons why you need to appoint a guardian in your will if you have children. That is why we have outlined some information on various elements of appointing a guardian to help you create a plan that perfectly reflects your wishes.

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The Process of Naming a Guardian

Parents in B.C. can appoint an individual to be a guardian for their children in their will. A guardian is someone with the legal power to care for your child, advise them, manage their assets, and oversee their care after your death. A guardian is typically nominated alongside several contingent guardians in your will. The court has final approval, but they will typically approve your primary choice unless there are compelling reasons not to do so.

What Happens When There is no Guardian?

If no guardian is appointed or documented in the parent’s will, the court will make this decision without considering your preferences. In this case, the child’s shares of the estate will be held in trust by a PGT (Public Guardian and Trustee) for them until they are 19 years old. Once they turn 19, they can demand the entire share regardless of their maturity or financial responsibility, often leading to poor financial decisions. With a will, you can direct this share to be used for your child’s benefit, including living expenses, income support, and higher education tuition, without government involvement.  Your will can also direct the amount of funding that is paid to your child at certain ages, ensuring that they are supported in the manner that you wish instead of in a way that is potentially harmful.

Questions to Consider When Choosing a Guardian

When appointing a guardian in your will, be sure to consider the following questions:

  • How comfortable are your children with this individual right now?
  • What is the age, physical condition, and mental condition of this individual?
  • Where is this individual located?
  • Will they have enough time to devote to your children and care for them?
  • Are they willing to take on this responsibility and understand the challenges it may bring?
  • Can they financially support themselves and your children?

The answers to these questions will help you determine if an individual is the right choice for your children.

If you have any further questions about wills, estate planning, or our other notary services, get in touch with the team at Sidhu & Associates. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.

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