The Importance of Appointing Guardians in your Wills

The Importance of Appointing Guardians in your Wills

In Queensland, parents are legally responsible for their children’s care and protection to make sure to keep minor children happy, healthy and safe. Appointing a guardian is a very important responsibility to make sure that kids are cared for by people we trust and who share our values and preferences. It’s an important component of parenting that requires careful consideration and planning under unexpected circumstances. 


Understanding Guardianship 

Guardianship means the legal responsibility and authority granted to a trusted person to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, education, healthcare, and overall well-being. This guards against events where “WE” as parents are unable to fulfill our parental responsibilities due unanticipated events such as illness, accidents, death or any other incapacity. 


Importance of Appointing Guardians 

  1. Continuity of Care Naming guardians helps ensure that your children are cared for by people you trust and who share your values, beliefs, and parenting philosophies. This continuity of care can help your children feel stable and secure at a challenging time. 
  2. Preventing Family Disputes Without a clear designation of guardianship, disagreements among family members about who should care for the children can arise. Naming guardians in your Will or other legal documents can help prevent potential conflicts and to make sure that your wishes are respected. 
  3. Legal Protection Designating guardianship provides legal protection to both your children and the designated guardians. It provides a framework for making decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, and overall upbringing, ensuring that their best interests are prioritised.  
  4. Avoiding State Intervention In the absence of named guardians, the state may intervene to determine the child’s care arrangements. This can create uncertainty and lead to actions that do not reflect your wishes or your children’s best interests. 

Considerations When Naming Guardians 

  • Trust and Compatibility Choose individuals you can trust implicitly and who share your values, parenting style, and religious or cultural beliefs. 
  • Ability to Provide Care Consider the prospective guardian’s ability to provide emotional, physical, and financial support for your children. 
  • Location and Stability Assess the stability of the guardian’s living situation and their willingness to accommodate the needs of your children. 
  • Communication Discuss your decision with the chosen guardians to make sure that they are willing to accept responsibility and understand your expectations. 
  • Emotional Impact It’s essential to consider how your children will feel about their new guardians and how the transition, permanent or temporary, would affect their sense of security and belonging. 

To summarise, naming guardians for children under 18 is a critical component of estate planning and safeguarding their well-being in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. By taking the necessary steps to designate guardians, you provide peace of mind knowing that your children will be cared for by trusted individuals who will prioritise their best interests. 

Guardianship arrangements can be formalised through a Will or enduring Powers of Attorney. Seek legal guidance to be sure that your guardianship arrangements comply with Queensland legislation and successfully protect your children’s interests.  

If you have any questions or require assistance with your Wills and Estate Plan, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. 



This page is not intended to provide legal advice and does not create a client-lawyer relationship. This post is provided for general information purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. If you need help with legal advice for your particular situation, please contact our office (details below or on ‘Contact’ page) and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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