Appointment of a Guardian



Appointing a guardian to care for your children, should you be unable to do so yourself, is probably the most important step you can take to protect and ensure your children’s future welfare. Rather than leave their care to the court to decide or someone of whom you might not approve, it is a simple but essential task to appoint someone to ‘step into your shoes’, should the need arise. This complete online guardian deed makes it even easier to appoint a guardian by deed or in your will and takes only minutes.

Guidance is included on who to appoint and what needs to be taken into consideration to allow you to legally appoint a guardian without the need to instruct a lawyer.

Appointing a guardian for your child

A legal guardian is appointed to care for a child in case both parents with parental responsibility die before the child reaches the age of eighteen or are unable to care for their child.

You should appoint a guardian for your children or the courts will do it for you if the worst should happen. The guardian will make important decisions about your children’s life in areas such as medical treatment and education and will directly affect how your children are schooled, how they are taught the difference between right and wrong, and how they are supervised during their lives up to adulthood.

You can appoint a Guardian for your child or children either in your will or by executing a separate deed. If the appointment is in your will it will not be effective until your death but if in a separate deed it can be made effective on occurrence of a specific event such as you becoming ill or incapacitated. The Guardian appointed will acquire parental responsibility provided:

• There is no surviving parent or other person with parental responsibility,
• The deceased parent had a residence order in his favour at the time of
his death.

Under the Children Act 1989, the appointment of a Guardian is not effective unless it is in writing, signed by the person making the appointment and dated. A Guardian can only be appointed by a parent with parental responsibility, an existing Guardian of the child, or by order of the court.

In the event of conflict between the Guardian and a surviving parent, it may become necessary for either party to make an application to the court for an order stating, for example, where the child should live, or dealing with issues of contact.


Appointing a guardian for your child 1

Choosing a Guardian 2

Appointment of guardian other than by will—short form  5

Appointment of guardian other than by will—long form 5

Appointment of guardian by will 7

Appointment by will of guardian if spouse has predeceased 7

Appointment by will of guardian to act after death of surviving spouse 7

Appointment by will of guardian of children by former marriage 7

Appointment by guardian of another guardian 8

Revocation of guardianship 8

Revocation by will of previous appointment of guardian 9

Disclaimer of guardianship 9