The role of parent is challenging in so many ways. We are all busy providing for our children’s health, safety, growth and development. We make sure we protect our lives, our income and our major possessions.
There are other ways we can protect our children from some of the more unfortunate things that may happen. It’s worth taking time to consider the option of Children’s insurance and the need to appoint a guardian.
Many people do not regard Children’s insurance as important as children are not generating income. However, the impact of illness, a major accident or the death of a child can have profound financial, as well as emotional impacts on parents and other members of the family. Children’s Insurance can provide financial support should the unforeseen happen to your child and most importantly takes away the financial stress, to provide choices to aid in your child’s recovery. It can also be used as a form of saving for higher education and as a way of ensuring your child’s future insurability
This is a complex issue and not easily discussed in generalities. Your financial professional can help you determine whether life insurance for your child should be part of your overall financial plan.
The issue of appointing a Guardian is far more straightforward. The guardians’ role is to ensure that the children are adequately housed, clothed and educated. Anyone who has young children should appoint a guardian to take care of them should you pass away prematurely.
You can do this by establishing an enduring guardianship. This enables you to appoint a substitute decision maker to make personal, health or lifestyle decisions in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions.
An enduring guardian can only be appointed while you have capacity. Capacity means that you have the ability to make decisions for yourself.
If you have not appointed an enduring guardian, anyone who has a genuine concern for your wellbeing can apply to a government tribunal to appoint a guardian. The tribunal will hold a guardianship hearing and where possible appoint a family member or friend as a guardian. This can be a stressful process for family members.
If there is no one suitable to be appointed as guardian or where there is significant conflict over who should be appointed as guardian, the tribunal can appoint a Public Guardian. The Public Guardian will then make decisions for you regarding matters such as accommodation, medical treatment and dental treatment.
Most people would prefer to choose their own decision-maker. By choosing your own decision maker, you can select someone who knows you well and who can take into account your thoughts and opinions, both past and present.
This is an important part of your financial planning process. Why not consult your financial adviser and other appropriate professionals to ensure the future needs of you and your family are planned?