The Brief for Accountants & Financial Planners
May, 2017

Guardians - it's a big job!

Two minute scenarios...

Clients often worry about a number of issues related to appointing guardians for their children.

Scenario One... Daniel and Julia

Scenario: Daniel and Julia have two young girls, 1 and 3 years old. They are having Wills done and want to appoint Julia's sister and brother-in-law, Anthea and Tom, as their guardians. This is not binding, but sends a clear signal to the family as to their wishes.

What's the issue? They are worried about the costs involved in raising their daughters and don't want Anthea and Tom to be 'out-of-pocket.' They ask if they should leave them a special bequest in their Wills.

Solutions: They don't necessarily need to do this as the executor of the Wills can compensate them for any costs involved in caring for the girls. That includes not only education-related costs but also food, clothing, and even holidays. It could also, for example, cover the cost of employing a nanny.

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Scenario Two... but what if...?

Scenario: The lawyer takes Daniel and Julia through some possible scenarios before finalising their Wills.

What's the issue? If, for example, Anthea passed away, would they want Tom to look after the girls? They decided they would prefer Daniel's sister, Jess, to look after them if that was to happen.

Solutions: The Will is drafted so that Anthea and Tom can both look after them together, Nicole can look after them alone, but that Tom alone is not to look after them. In that case, the guardianship is to pass to Jess.

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Scenario Three... What they would have wanted?

Scenario: Daniel and Julia want to ensure their wishes are known to the guardians. The girls won't get control of their inheritance until they are 25 years old so there are a few things to think about.

What's the issue? They want the girls to go to a local state primary school and then to the same private secondary school as Julia. They are comfortable with any University fees being paid up-front and to fund a 'gap year' of travel before starting University. They are also happy for them to each be bought a car when they get their licence.

Solutions: Daniel and Julia are encouraged to write a Statement of Wishes addressing any issues especially important to them, and to store it somewhere safe.

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More information for clients

Please feel free to forward this insight on Different Types of Wills to your clients. Or if they would like to discuss how we can help them please call 03 8621 9000 or email info@irongrouplawyers.com with their details and we will contact them, obligation free.

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