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Guardianship Clauses and Life Insurance Trusts – doing the very best for your children

What happens if you die before your children are eighteen years old? For anyone with parental responsibility, this idea is an understandably painful one. However, if you have children under the age of eighteen, it’s essential that you plan for that eventuality with a properly drawn up will that contains a Guardianship Clause.

A Guardianship Clause is a simple paragraph that gives the name and contact details of the person you would like to act as guardian to your children should both parents, or the last surviving parent, pass away. Without one, if the unthinkable happens and your dependent children are left without parents, it will be down to the courts to decide how they should be cared for – and they may not make the same choice as you would.

Choose your guardian wisely
Choosing a guardian to raise your children in your absence has to be done with great care, taking into account everyone’s thoughts and feelings – including the children’s. It could be an adult child from your own family, a relative such as the children’s aunt or uncle, or a close family friend. It must be borne in mind that this guardian will need to take major decisions to do with your children’s emotional and educational development – as well as providing them with all that they need to grow up healthy and happy.

Guardianship clauses can easily be modified or changed to reflect changes such as new marital status, additions to the numbers of children in your family and the decision to appoint a different guardian.

Ensure guardians have financial resources in place
Of equal importance is making sure that the guardian has the financial resources to raise your children.

This can be arranged in a number of ways, including making sure that your life policy is written in trust. Writing the policy in trust means that any payment on death is outside of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes, so that your dependents aren’t liable to the prohibitive 40% IHT, thus maximising the amount they receive. Trusts also enable you to confirm who should have the proceeds of the policy, which means they can access the money quickly after you pass away.

Once a trust has been set up, it can’t usually be cancelled. For this reason, it’s essential that you get sound, professional, legal and tax advice so that you can arrive at the right arrangement to suit you and your children.

We can advise you with sensitivity and experience on all aspects of Guardianship Clauses and on managing your financial estate, helping you look after your children in the best way possible – both now, and after you pass away.

During our first meeting with you, we ask many questions so that we can fully understand your family relationships (emotional and legal), in order to draw up wills, trusts and guardianship clauses for children. We can also look at protective property trusts, and how the way you own your home (joint tenants vs tenants in common) can affect your estate.

Contact us
TLB Planning specialises in legal affairs, insurances and funeral plans to take you and your loved ones “Through Life and Beyond”.

Our Legal Services staff have extensive experience in the field and are all STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualified Will Drafters, so you can be confident that we provide the highest professional standards.

If you would like to talk to us about your plans for wills, Guardianship Clauses, Lasting Powers of Attorney, trusts and other matters, do get in touch on 01792 342 673 or email us at info@tlbplanning.org