Guardianship decisions – no “minor” matter!

October 30th, 2012 by

Preparing a Will is something many put off as something we all know we should do, but something we really just don’t want to think about right now. Planning for what happens after one’s death can, understandably, be thought of as morbid and unnatural – if nothing else, downright uncomfortable. Add to that the consideration parents must give to guardianship and it’s no wonder half of all Canadians do not have a Will.

As a parent I can think of only one thing that would make me more uncomfortable than having to decide who looks after my child should anything happen to me – letting someone else decide. In Ontario, if both parents die, the decision regarding guardianship is left up to the courts. The court will have to decide between competing relatives and may even appoint the Children’s Aid Society as guardian.

It would take less time, money and effort to make guardianship decisions now than leave these decisions to be made by others who either do not know what your wishes are or are unable to honour them because the law does not permit them to do so.

Your lawyer is best suited to advise you on what to consider when naming a guardian. Your lawyer can also identify and make provisions for other concerns that may arise, such as education trusts and other discretionary trusts for children. When making guardianship decisions, remember – this is no “minor” matter!



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