What is personal injury pre-action protocol?

When a claim for personal injury is made, it’s always desirable for both the claimant and defendant to make a productive and positive start—perhaps even find an alternate route to resolution that doesn’t involve going through the courts at all.

This is where personal injury pre-action protocol comes in, and adhering to it can help save time, stress, and even costs for either party.

What is personal injury pre-action protocol?

Pre-action protocols outline the kind of behaviour a court hopes all parties abide by before formal court proceedings take place. ‘Protocol’ commonly means a set of behaviours and actions that are considered to be best practice and are expected of individuals in certain situations. In this legal sense, it’s no different.

Of course, there are many different reasons that two or more parties might go to court. So, personal injury pre-action protocol defines the conduct that is expected specifically of parties that are dealing with a personal injury claim.

This means that everybody communicates clearly, openly, and in good faith, sharing information and investigating all aspects of the claim as thoroughly as possible.

Perhaps most importantly, personal injury pre-action protocol provides that parties should ideally pursue other avenues of conflict resolution before taking the matter to court. This could be a settlement out of court, which is often more attractive than a potentially protracted court battle.

What does pre-action protocol include?

The protocols are more than just recommendations or guidelines. They include essential steps to be followed at the beginning of a claim, and a court can choose to penalise either party if they feel that there was not satisfying observation of protocol.

These steps include:

Claimant letter

The claimant’s solicitor sends a letter to the defendant (or their insurers) that officially notes their intention to make a claim. This letter should contain as much clear information as possible pertaining to the nature of the claim, including its intended value and any financial losses and/or injuries sustained by the claimant.

The letter should also include details such as the hospital where the claimant received treatment if applicable, as is common in road traffic accidents. This allows the defending side to begin their own investigations as necessary.

If the solicitor needs more time or information to prepare the letter of claim, a letter of notification should be sent to the defendant give them advance warning of the incoming claim.

Defendant response

Once the letter of claim has been sent, the defendant or their insurers should respond within 21 calendar days. If they feel any significant information was missing from the letter of claim that changes the context of the case, this should be made known in their response.

Once the letter of claim has been acknowledged, the defendant’s side has a maximum of three months in which they can conduct their own investigation and provide a detailed response.

This response should clearly state whether the defendant admits liability by agreeing that the accident took place as stated and that their actions or negligence led to the outcome.

If the defendant doesn’t claim liability for the incident in question, the response should give their recount of events and provide any evidence to support this.

If the letter of claim doesn’t receive a response from the defendant or their insurers, the claimant has the right to issue court proceedings.

Expert input

For claims of personal injury, a medical expert will need to provide their professional opinion and evidence to support the claim. Other expert input may be needed to support the claim, and the protocol provides that the chosen experts are agreed upon by both parties in order to avoid any bias in selection.

The defendant should have a chance to see the medical report and either agree on it or dispute it.

Alternate dispute resolution

If both parties agree that there is a claim to be addressed, they should abide by the recommendations of the protocol and explore their options for alternate resolution.

Essentially, alternate resolution is anything that allows the parties to settle the matter without court proceedings. This commonly takes the form of an out-of-court settlement, wherein the claimant is paid compensation as full and final resolution.

Agreeing to a settlement is generally preferable for as it saves the time and cost that goes into court proceedings, and it presents no risk to either side. If the defendant admits to fault then a protracted battle is pointless, thus a quick and clean settlement that ties the matter up for all parties involved being the best choice.

Resisting or failing to explore alternate dispute resolution can be penalised by the courts, so all parties need to pursue options in good faith.

Stock take

This can be seen as the final stage of protocol before taking a matter to court. If alternate resolution can’t be agreed upon, parties are encouraged to ‘stock take’ and re-evaluate their positions.

All sides should analyse their stance and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions.

Going to court for a personal injury claim

If you need the help of a qualified, experienced solicitor to guide you through personal injury pre-action protocol or with court proceedings resulting from personal injury, contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors.

Our team can provide thorough advice backed by years of collective experience and show you the way to the respect and compensation you deserve.

To find out more about our services, contact us today.

Making a clinical negligence claim for a child

We dread to think that, in the process of seeking medical help, we may be left with new injuries resulting from clinical negligence. This is even harder to comprehend when it happens to your child or a young person in your family.

This is why it’s only understandable that parents and carers will often make child medical negligence claims on behalf of those who can’t do it for themselves. But how are these claims made and how are they handled?

Can a child make a clinical negligence claim?

An individual under the age of 18 can’t make their own claim for medical negligence. They are, however, still eligible to benefit from compensation awarded in reparation for a case of medical negligence. They simply need an adult of sound capacity to act in their stead, known as a ‘litigation friend’.

With their litigation friend and a solicitor acting by their side, children can pursue medical negligence claims just the same as anybody else.

Alternatively, once they turn 18 years of age, an individual has three years in which they can make their own claim.

Should I wait to make a child’s medical negligence claim?

It may be the case that the full extent of the child’s injuries cannot actually be determined until they’ve grown older.

In cases such as these, a payment known as an interim payment will be made to support the child and their family in the meantime, until the claim can be finalised at a later date.

How is compensation paid to children?

Given the young age that some victims of clinical negligence will sadly be, it isn’t reasonable to expect them to handle a large sum of compensation.

For that reason, compensation awarded in a successful case will be invested into a special kind of savings account to be held until the claimant reaches 18. Some of this money may be released at the time if the court deems it appropriate to do so, such as for funding educational or medical needs.

Making a claim with Mark Reynolds Solicitors

Our solicitors are fully qualified and ready to help you undertake a medical negligence claim.

We understand how difficult and emotional it can be to do this on behalf of family. That’s why we’ll take our time and listen to you every step of the way, so that we can work through your claim together and see it through with patience and compassion.

If you found this article useful, check here to find out How Does A Clinical Negligence Claim Succeed?

Can you sue for a bad hip replacement?

We all know that as we age, we might find ourselves spending more time in the company of doctors and pharmacists. Certain parts of the body face more wear and tear through years of use than others, and one of these in particular is the hips.

As such, hip surgery is not at all uncommon for Britain’s over-50 population. While many go right, some can go wrong, leaving patients worse off. Where do you turn when you’re faced with a medical negligence hip replacement case?

Who needs hip replacements?

Data shows that April 2020 – March 2021 saw 30,937 hip replacement procedures for NHS patients in the UK. Of these, the vast majority were aged 50 or older (92.7%) and many more were conducted on female patients than male.

Hip replacements are so common due to the intensive usage our hip joints face year in, year out. A lifetime of walking, running, carrying, and standing and sitting down repeatedly can eventually wear down and damage joints.

Additionally, conditions like arthritis can cause pain that needs hip replacement surgery to alleviate.

Can hip replacements go wrong?

While the data suggests that the vast majority of hip replacements fortunately go well for patients, not everybody feels better after their surgery. Some may even feel worse.

Medical negligence is an ongoing problem for any healthcare service, and with modern hip replacements intended to last at least 15 years without further intervention, a bad hip replacement robs many years of relief from victims of clinical negligence in this field.

Typically, a medical negligence hip replacement case is one that leaves a patient in a state of suffering as a result of the surgery. You might feel that this is the fault of the surgeon, or of the implant’s manufacturer if it is clearly not fit for purpose.

While there are a few ways in which replacements can degrade over time or alter a patient’s physiology, the surgeries are not expected to cause the patient extra pain or need repeating in a short space of time.

What can I do about medical negligence for a hip replacement?

If you’ve been left suffering as a result of a hip replacement surgery and feel that something must have gone wrong, the first call is to get sound legal advice.

An initial consultation will allow you to go through the events and explain everything in detail, while also giving us the chance to ask for any extra information that can help shape our understanding. If you have a case, you can work together with your solicitor to take it from there.

Medical negligence can leave patients with years of unnecessary suffering and distress, and nobody should go through it without justice being served.

To find out if you have a case for medical negligence or to start a claim, contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors today.

Can you sue for a misdiagnosis?

Receiving a misdiagnosis is a form of medical negligence that can be as hurtful to our mental health as it can be to our physical health. If you’ve been given a misdiagnosis that underestimates the extent of your medical issues, you can be left feeling like you were never taken seriously nor properly heard.

With medical negligence and misdiagnosis being related, is there grounds to sue when you receive a wrong diagnosis from a medical professional?

Is misdiagnosis always medical negligence?

While there’s a separate argument for the point at which misdiagnosis is down to lack of care or attention, inexperience, or something else, misdiagnosis is generally a form of medical negligence. However, receiving a wrong diagnosis is not something that you can sue for in and of itself.

In order to have a feasible case for medical negligence via wrong diagnosis, you would need to prove that the misdiagnosis led to treatment—or lack thereof—that caused unnecessary suffering and worsening of your condition.

Additionally, it might be that a misdiagnosis led to injury as a result of treatment you wouldn’t have pursued with a correct diagnosis. This can also form the basis of a claim.

As mentioned before, a misdiagnosis on its own isn’t normally grounds for a case. Any of us could be misdiagnosed when seeking treatment but ultimately face a waste of time, not injury or exacerbated pain.

How can misdiagnosis lead to bigger problems?

When you’re misdiagnosed, you have a medical professional placing their expert opinion on your condition having one cause when, in actuality, the problem stems from another.

This can lead to:

  • Being prescribed medicine that won’t help or will be too strong.
  • Being referred for unnecessary surgery.
  • Wasting time with tests that won’t detect anything significant.
  • Neglecting to pursue any treatment at all due to your condition being downplayed.

Misdiagnosis is a such a problem when it occurs because of the trust we place in medical professionals who know vastly more about the body and health than we do. When we’re given a diagnosis, we typically have no reason to mistrust or argue with our doctor, so we’ll take on their recommended course of treatment.

However, human error is always present, and in some cases this can lead to serious conditions going undetected. Cancer misdiagnoses are particularly tragic as early detection makes all the difference, and the UK is behind with certain cancers in particular and diagnosing them early enough.

If your health has been adversely impacted by a misdiagnosis, contact Mark Reynolds Solicitors for a free initial consultation. We’ll get the facts and give you sound, expert legal advice to help guide you and your potential case forwards.

To make an enquiry today, contact us.

Example cases of medical negligence

When we trust professionals to help us, we don’t just want them to do a good job; we need to know that our time, money, and trust haven’t been misplaced. This is true in many areas of life, but it’s scarcely more important than when it comes to our healthcare.

Medical negligence can leave its victims stressed, hurt, and under new financial burdens that make life harder to manage. This is why a medical negligence case cannot be left to fade into the background, and victims of medical negligence shouldn’t simply be expected to quietly adjust to their new reality.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence, also known as clinical negligence and medical malpractice (a term more common in the U.S.), is an instance in which a medical professional has neglected their duties in some way. This results in substandard care that leaves the patient with injuries or conditions that they may not have suffered if their care had been of a more satisfactory quality.

Examples of medical negligence can come about for many different reasons. It could be that a GP misdiagnoses a patient which adversely affects their treatment, or that lack of due skill, care, or attention adversely affects a patient undergoing surgery, labour, dental treatment, or something else.

In order to make a claim for medical negligence, it must be proven that you received negligent care which resulted in injuries, or exacerbated your existing condition in a way that could and should have been avoided.

Medical negligence can get complex due to the nature of medical care often being inexact or hard to anticipate. Many medical procedures can present risks and side effects, and medical professionals may misdiagnose a condition despite their best efforts due to its rarity or the complexity of a patient’s symptoms.

For example, if a patient agrees to a treatment which is common for their specific condition and they’re made fully aware of the risks associated with that treatment, that patient is highly unlikely to have a medical negligence case if one of the risks materialises (provided the treatment was delivered to appropriate standards). The patient consented to the treatment and knew the possibilities.

However, medical negligence is common enough to have cost the NHS billions in recent years, so litigation is often able to establish clear instances of substandard care.

Which are the most common type of medical negligence cases?

Medical care covers a wide range of practices and needs from joint pain to dentistry to childbirth. However, there are some kinds of medical care that are much more common than others, due to the commonality of certain diseases, medical conditions, or life events.

Information revealed by a 2022 Freedom of Information request shows that the highest root cause of medical negligence lies in wrong diagnoses, or a failure or delay in making a diagnosis. Emergency medicine receives the majority of claims as a single department, with just shy of 1,000 more claims than its closest entry for the years 2017/18 – 2020/21.

For the specific nature of the complaints, unnecessary pain comprises the highest number of cases, with fatalities the second, and additional/unnecessary surgeries being third.

Unnecessary pain relates not so much to the idea that a patient should be absolutely free of pain throughout any and all medical treatment, but more to the burden on healthcare providers to manage a patient’s pain. This could be inadequate pain relief being administered, or it could be patients being left in unfavourable positions for extended periods of time, such as elderly patients confined to beds being left to develop pressure sores.

In cases of misdiagnosis, cancer is a commonly occurring factor, with two figures representing cancer and advanced stage cancer cases respectively. Combined, these make up 558 claims for the time period—which then outnumbers fatalities to come second only to unnecessary pain cases.

This reveals a crucial aspect of substandard care, in that though the specific nature of the cases can vary widely—be it related to brain damage or a fracture—it’s the failure to recognise the severity of a patient’s case and the true nature of their condition that represents the overarching cause of medical negligence.

What can be done about medical negligence?

The NHS have made efforts to combat medical negligence from within. They have established their Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) team, who collate and analyse patient data to try and pinpoint areas for change and development, aiming to improve patient care and treatment.

However, examples of medical negligence are bound to still happen, and when they do, you need a source of expert medical negligence advice and guidance to find out whether you have a claim, and how to go about pursuing that claim.

Working with solicitors to pursue a medical negligence claim is quite different to simply chasing compensation from an accident, as so many daytime TV adverts try to encourage. Medical negligence can leave people with lifechanging injuries or worsened conditions, forcing them to adjust to thoughts, feelings, and ways of living that they never had to contend with before.

Furthermore, it must be remembered that many of these effects from medical negligence cases should never have come about in the first place.

That’s why victims of negligence need to get the very best care and advice, so that they have a chance to rebalance their lives whilst receiving the crucial attention and compassion that was missing from their medical care.

Mark Reynolds Solicitors have a strong team of ethical legal professionals waiting to help you in Liverpool and surrounding areas. If you have a case of medical negligence or you simply need to find out if you’ve suffered substandard care, call us today for a free initial consultation.

To find out more and gain our help, contact us today.

All you need to know about a deputyship order

What is a deputyship order?

A Deputyship Order is a way that someone becomes legally allowed to make certain decisions on another person’s behalf if they no longer have the capacity to make those decisions for themselves and they have not made a Lasting or Enduring Power of Attorney.

Types of deputyship order

There are two different types of Deputyship Order.

A property and financial affairs Deputyship Order is the most common type and is used to make decisions about a person’s property and finances, including paying bills and selling property.

A health and welfare deputyship order can be used to make decisions about a person’s care and medical treatment, however, welfare deputies are only appointed in exceptional circumstances.

Who can be a deputy?

A deputy is usually a family member or close friend of the person who can no longer make certain decisions.

If this isn’t possible, a professional, such as a solicitor, can act as the person’s deputy.

It is possible for a person to have two or more deputies. Being a deputy can be stressful and time-consuming appointment and it can be beneficial to have two deputies.

If you are thinking of becoming a deputy and making decisions on behalf of someone else, it is important that you understand the duties of this role.

As a deputy, you must always act in a person’s best interests, making decisions carefully and with as much knowledge as possible. You will be required to submit an annual deputyship report to the Court of Protection, so you must ensure that you keep financial accounts and a record of all decisions made.

As a property and financial affairs deputy, you are tasked with managing the persons finances. This typically involves paying bills, moving money between accounts, and managing investment portfolios. If the person has a large amount of money, then you should instruct a financial advisor to assist you.

Some property and financial affairs deputyship orders allow the deputy to make decisions about the person’s property. If you think you will need to sell the person’s house, you should ask for that ability to be included in your deputyship when you apply.

It may be possible for a deputy to make limited gifts on the person’s behalf, but this will depend on the details of the deputyship order. Check the order first before giving any gifts.

Health and welfare deputyship orders are rare, however, if granted you will be responsible for decisions on medical treatment and how the person is looked after.

What is the process of obtaining a deputyship order?

To become a deputy, you will need to submit an application to the Court of Protection. The application process involves giving the court detailed information about the circumstances of the person involved.

You will need to pay an application fee to the court when you submit your application, and this is currently £371 per order. If your application is for a property and financial affairs deputyship order, then you can recover the fee from the person the application is about.

Once the court has made a deputyship order for property and financial affairs, they will send you guidance on how to arrange a security bond. A security bond is a type of insurance policy designed to financially protect the person the deputyship concerns in the unlikely event that you don’t manage their finances properly.

You will have to pay a fee for the bond when you set it up. You will also have to pay a yearly fee while you are deputy. You can pay these fees from any money that you hold for the person.

The Office of Public Guardian is responsible for checking that a deputy is carrying out their role properly. All new deputies are placed under general supervision in their first year and continue under general supervision while deputy. If the assets of the person concerned are below a set amount and there are no concerns about the deputy, they will be placed under minimal supervision after the first year.

If you require assistance with completing the forms, we can complete them on your behalf and we charge a fixed fee of £950 plus vat for this service.

When you should update your Will

Updating your Will is an important task that many often ignore and put off. As personal circumstances change, it is not uncommon for you to want to change your Will.

An outdated Will could cause lots of complications for your loved ones when you die. For example, it can cause them to receive less than intended and possibly paying more inheritance tax.

Updating your Will frequently will help to avoid this.

Why update your will?

It is important to update your Will if your wishes have changed, because if you die without having updated it, your estate may not pass to who you wish.

There will be times in your life when your circumstances change which could result in you changing your wishes. Life events that will usually cause people to change their will include:

  • Buying or selling property
  • Having children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren
  • Getting married or divorced
  • Starting a new business
  • One of the previously chosen executors, beneficiaries or guardians dies

How to make changes to your Will

To make any changes to your existing Will, you have to make an official alteration called a Codicil which must be signed and witnessed in the same way as your original Will.

There are no limits to how many codicils you can add to a Will, however, the more changes to make, the more difficult it may be to interpret your Will after your death. If you want to make several significant changes to your Will, it is recommended that you create a new Will instead of using Codicils.

How often should you update your Will?

It is recommended that even without any significant life changes or events, you should review your Will every 3 to 5 years to ensure that its contents still accurately reflect your wishes.

Can beneficiaries change a Will?

A beneficiary can change a Will after the person has died. A deed of variation (sometimes called a deed of family arrangement) allows this. However, a beneficiary can only make changes to their own share of their estate.

This is often done if the beneficiary doesn’t need all of the inheritance they are entitled to and therefore would prefer for it to go to someone else. It can also help reduce inheritance tax.

If your current Will is no longer accurate or up to date, our team is on hand to help guide your through every stage of making a Codicil or a new Will. For more advice or to arrange an appointment, please call our team on 01925 418 004 or contact us online.

Life Interest Trust

For many of us, our home is our main financial asset which we have worked hard for and wish to ensure that it passes to our chosen beneficiaries.

A Property Life Interest Trust can be included in your Will to allow you to protect your home which you hope to pass on to your family. Many couples create mirror Wills leaving everything to their surviving partner and then on the second death to their children or grandchildren. However, this can cause issues in the future for chosen beneficiaries should the surviving partner change their Will or require care.

How does a Property Life Interest Trust work?

In your Will, you leave your share of the property to your chosen beneficiaries, subject to your partner having the right to use and enjoy the property throughout their lifetime.

The trustees, typically your surviving partner and chosen beneficiaries, look after your share of the property. The terms of the trust are set out in your Will, but typically detail the following: –

  • Your surviving partner can live in the property for the rest of their life uninterrupted provided they pay all outgoings in respect of the property, keeps it in good repair and insured.
  • The property can only be sold with the surviving partners consent, if the surviving partner has lost capacity to give consent or has died, or if the surviving partner does not comply with their obligations.
  • If the surviving partner needs to move house, the property can be sold, and the entire sale proceeds can be used to purchase a new property which will be subject to the Life Interest Trust. Any sale proceeds not used to purchase a new property are paid into a trust bank account with any income (interest) paid to the surviving partner. The capital in the trust bank account will not be used to pay the survivor’s care fees.
  • When the surviving partner dies, the share of the property which passed into the trust will be distributed in accordance with the Will of the first to die. The share retained by the surviving partner will pass according to their own Will.

Advantages of a Life Interest Property trust

An advantage of including a Life Interest trust in your Will is that it gives you the certainty that your share of your home will be passed onto your chosen beneficiaries, and this cannot be undone by your surviving spouse, whilst in the meantime allowing your spouse to use and enjoy the property throughout their lifetime.

Another important benefit of including a Life Interest Property Trust in your Will relates to care costs. If you leave your entire estate to your partner and they need care, all their assets will be considered when calculating how much your partner must pay towards their care.

A Property Life Interest Trust protects your share of the property from being included in this calculation, protecting it for your chosen beneficiaries.

How we can help

If you do not have a Will or your current Will does not include a Life Interest Property Trust, our team is on hand to help guide you through the process. For more advice or to arrange an appointment, please call 01925 418 004 or contact us online.

The importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney

Leaving a will ensures your affairs are taken care of after your death, but many fail to consider what happens if they are not able to manage their affairs during their lifetime. In this article, we consider why you should plan and arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby you formally give power to individuals called your attorneys to make decisions of your behalf.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney.

One is for property and financial affairs which allows your chosen attorneys to make decisions regarding your finances, such as moving money between your bank accounts, paying bills and selling or buying property. Under this type of Lasting Power of Attorney, your attorneys can help you at your discretion whilst you still have capacity, and then make decisions on your behalf if you lose capacity.

The second type of Lasting Power of Attorney is for health and welfare decisions which allows your attorneys to make decisions relating to where you should live, arrangements for day-to-day care and consenting to or refusing medical treatment. This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used when you have lost the capacity to make decisions yourself.

Why should you make a Lasting Power of Attorney

An LPA is the only way that someone can choose who they trust to manage their affairs should they become either physically or mentally incapacitated in the future.

Postponing making lasting powers of attorney may cause issues later. If you do not have them in place and you do become uncapable of making decisions or taking care of yourself, your loved ones will have to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy, which is much more expensive. This can be a lengthy process and in the intervening period, you may have difficulty accessing finances.

Business owners and Lasting Powers of Attorney

We regularly hear about the benefits of Lasting Powers of Attorney and their relevance to personal life, but the importance of a business Lasting Power of Attorney is often overlooked.

Without a business Lasting Power of Attorney in place, contractual and regulatory breaches may occur, with financial institutions likely to freeze accounts and overdraft facilities, making it difficult to pay creditors, salaries and suppliers.

How we can help

Our team are on hand to help guide you through every stage of the process. We are able to assist you in preparing and registering your lasting powers of attorney to ensure that they are valid and ready to use should the time come, avoiding any delays and financial difficulties in the future.

To find out more or to book an appointment with our team, using the contact form opposite, or call 01925 418 004.

The importance of appointing guardians in your will

If your children are under the age of 18, have you thought about making sure your will states who should care for them if both parents pass away?

Parental responsibility

If one parent dies and the other has parental responsibility, that parent will take over responsibility for any children and a guardian would not need to be appointed. However, if the other parent does not have parental responsibility or both parents with parental responsibility die and a guardian is not appointed in you will, then the courts will decide who looks after your children.

A child’s biological mother automatically has parental responsibility. For other parents, such as fathers or the second female parent in same-sex relationships, parental responsibility is not guaranteed. Parents therefore can’t assume that the other parent will automatically become guardian if they die.

Why should guardians be appointed?

If you don’t appoint a guardian in your will and no one has parental responsibility when you die, the courts will decide who will look after your children. It is not guaranteed that they will appoint the person or people you would have chosen, so it is better to make the decision yourself.

Following your death, your children are likely to stay with grandparents, other family members or friends on a temporary basis. An interim court order could be sought to formalise this. If this is not a suitable arrangement, the court could grant the local authority temporary parental responsibility. The court would then make an assessment as to what is best for the children and would formalise arrangements in either a care or supervision order.

A guardian, whether appointed under a will or by the court, has parental responsibility for the children within their custody and has all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities, and authority that a parent holds.

Who should I appoint as guardian for my children?

This is something you need to consider carefully. Many people choose their own parents, but this might not be appropriate if they are old. Another common choice is your own brothers and sisters or close friends. A guardian must be an individual over the age of 18 and you should think about: –

  • Do your children know the guardians? If so, what is their relationship like?
  • Where do the guardians live?
  • Do the guardians have their own children? If not, would they be able to look after a child?
  • Do the guardians have similar beliefs and morals as you?
  • Do the guardians have the financial ability to raise your child if your estate cannot cover all the costs?

It is important to note that your chosen guardians do not have to accept the appointment, so it is important that you discuss it with them, and they accept the responsibility, before appointing them as guardians in your will.

How will the guardian pay for my children’s upbringing?

A guardian has no responsibility to bring up a child using their own resources. There are several routes you could consider ensuring that the guardian can afford the upbringing of your child. For example, you could:

  • Leave a gift of money in your will to the guardian
  • Allow the trustees of your will to pay for things such as school fees and clothing or loan money to the guardians to buy a suitable property
  • Leave a non-binding letter of wishes that gives guidance on how your trustees should use the money in your estate to benefit the upbringing of your children

How we can help

Our team are on hand to help guide you through every stage of making a will. For more advice on appointing a guardian to you will, guardianship clause or to make your will please call our team on 01925 418 004 or contact us online.