What is a guardian in a Will?

A guardian is someone you appoint to look after your children (or pets) when you die.

A guardian is someone you appoint to look after your children (or pets) when you die.

The Care of Children Act 2004 makes provision for a parent to appoint Guardians for their children through their will.  The “Testamentary” Guardian will become that child’s guardian automatically when the parent dies, and will not be required to make an application to the Family Court.  A Testamentary Guardian can be appointed to care for a child up until that child reaches the age of 18 years (or younger in certain circumstances).

These are sometimes known as a Legal Guardian. A child’s Testamentary or Will Guardian has the same responsibilities to care for the child as a parent would. This means the guardian has full legal and physical custody of the child and can make all the decisions about the physical care of the child that a parent would make. A guardian can be anyone: relatives, friends of the family, or other people suitable to raise the child can ask to be legal guardians.

The guardian is responsible for the child’s care, including the child’s:

  • Food, clothing and shelter
  • Safety and protection
  • Physical and emotional growth
  • Medical and dental care
  • Education and any special needs

The guardian is also responsible for supervision of the child and its actions.

Category: Guardian

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