Should I appoint guardians?
If you have children under the age of 18 you should appoint a Guardian or
Guardians. They could be appointed to act on your death, if only you have parental responsibility, or only once you and your partner have both passed away.
If you and your partner are unmarried and have joint children then if the father is not on the children’s birth certiﬁcate, the mother of the children will no doubt wish to appoint the father as her ﬁrst choice of guardian as, under current law, he does not have any automatic rights to the children if she passes away ﬁrst.
If you have children over 18 while one or more are under 18 then you can appoint an older child as guardian of the younger.
If a marriage has ended in divorce then in the majority of cases both parents will have parental responsibility meaning that on the death of either parent the surviving parent has the responsibility for the child/children. Be aware that one cannot
contract out of the law, so if a guardian is appointed other than a surviving parent, those with parental responsibility should be aware and in agreement, although this is not always possible.