What Happens to Your Child if You Die Without a Will?

This week Prestige Tax and Trust Services outlines why every parent needs to make a will by explaining what happens to your child if you die without a will.

How Do You Appoint a Legal Guardian?

As a parent your primary role is to look after your child until they turn 18.  Yet if you die before they reach the age of majority you wouldn’t be able to fill this role, meaning somebody else will need to step in to care for your child whilst they’re a minor.

This person is called a legal guardian. As they hold a legal responsibility to care for your child should you die there’s only one way you can appoint one. You need to name who you wish to act as the legal guardian for your child in a will.

The Courts Decide

Without this legal clarification, if you die there is no way for the authorities to know who you wish to care for your child if you’re unable to do so. In these circumstances the courts have no choice but to appoint a legal guardian for your children themselves.

However the courts don’t know you or your child. As such they may not appoint the person who you would wish to act as the guardian of your child until they reach the age of 18. Often they may rely on the Rules of Intestacy and name your next of kin as your child’s legal guardian.

Learn How to Make a Will

Therefore if you die without leaving a will you leave it up to people who don’t know you or your child to decide who is going to care for them until they reach 18. That’s why it’s vital that you learn how to make a will in England. Doing so will provide you with the knowledge you need to ensure the right person is appointed as your child’s legal guardian should the worst happen.

If you want to make sure the right person becomes the guardian for your child let Prestige Tax and Trust Services lend you a helping hand. We have a team of legal experts specifically versed in will law to ensure it isn’t left up to the courts to decide what happens to your child should you pass away  before they turn 18.

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