When writing your Will, there are many important things to consider, like who do you want to have your personal possessions? Do you want your partner or spouse to take everything? Or do you want your siblings to inherit something? Perhaps the most important thing to consider, however, is who will look after your minor children if you pass away?

Should the worst happen, you should appoint a guardian in your Will to be your child’s carer until they turn 18. They will be responsible for looking after your child as you would, for example, ensuring their maintenance and making decisions about their welfare and lifestyle until they can legally make those decisions for themselves.

You can also provide your child’s guardian with a means of paying for your child’s lifestyle should you pass away before turning 18 by providing for a Guardianship Fund in your Will. 

What is a Guardianship Fund?

In your Will, you can set up several Testamentary Trusts to determine the beneficiaries who will inherit from your estate and who will control the money they are gifted.

Similar to a Testamentary Trust, you can establish a Guardianship Fund in your Will to give your child’s nominated guardian the ability to control a certain amount of funds from your estate and use that money to pay for the maintenance and education costs of your child. Such costs may include lifestyle costs, healthcare, school fees and travel to broaden your child’s mind.

The purpose of setting up the Guardianship Fund rather than leaving the funds under the control of your Executor is to provide the Guardians(s) with the power and discretion to use that money for the benefit of your children, rather than having to seek money from the Executor on each occasion. This will be particularly useful when the Executor is different to the guardian (s).

If the funds for these purposes are left to your child’s guardian in a trust or Guardianship Fund in your Will, then your guardian can only use these funds for those specific purposes.

Should I include one in my Will?

You may choose to include a Guardianship Fund in your Will for peace of mind and ensure that your child is well looked after in the event you pass away.

A Guardianship Fund ensures that your child’s guardians spend the money you have allocated in the way you would have spent the money on your child, and prevents them from spending it on themselves or for trivial purposes.

It also ensures your child’s guardians do not incur any financial liability as a result of undertaking care of your child. This is particularly important in circumstances where the best person to look after your child, and the person you would like to become guardian of your child should the worst happen, may not necessarily have the financial means.

If you would like peace of mind knowing that even if you pass away your child will be provided for, you should consider establishing a Trust or Guardianship Fund in your Will.

 

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