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Guardianship for Your Children

Guardianship for Your Children - Ally Wealth Management - Australian Expat Financial Planners

“How can I ensure that my children would be protected in the unforeseen event that something happened to me and my partner..?”

One of the most common worries for parents, particularly amongst Australian expats living and working overseas, is what would happen to their children if an unforeseen disaster were to strike. Not only would they want to ensure that there was someone there to take care of them, but also to ensure that financially they would be provided for and that the necessary arrangements are already in place.

For Australian expats in particular, although most of these tips are just as relevant for Australians living and working at home, there are a few important steps to be taken, and documents to put into place to ensure that you have the peace of mind that your children would be cared for.

The first step to consider is the nomination of a Temporary Guardian.

Temporary Guardianship

This is a particularly important one for Australian expat families, as in many cases the Permanent Guardian, i.e. the friend or family member that is being nominated to care for your children for the long-term may be back in Australia, and therefore not residing in the same country as you are. This is where the Temporary Guardian comes in, as someone who can look after your child, or children, while they wait on the Permanent Guardian/s to make arrangements to travel and pick up the children.

When you’re thinking about who to nominate for the Temporary Guardian, there are a few important tips to bear in mind:

  • Firstly, consider someone who lives and works locally to ensure that they would not face any difficulties or delays in visiting the children.
  • Ensure that you’re not nominating anyone whose employment would be terminated in the event or your sudden passing, such as a domestic helper.
  • Ensure that it is someone that your children know and are comfortable with.
  • You may need to ensure that the Temporary Guardian has copies of the childrens’ ID documents also. This is a requirement in some jurisdictions, so it’s important to review this with your lawyer and/or Adviser to assess the rules.

The nomination is typically made by a Letter of Temporary Guardianship, although again it’s important to seek professional advice and ensure that it is documented correctly and you’ve not overlooked anything in the process.

The next step is the nomination of the Permanent Guardian.

Permanent Guardianship

The Permanent Guardian/s is the one who you are nominating to look after your children for the long-term in the event of your passing. It is particularly important if they aren’t looking in the same country as you that they have copies of the childrens’ ID documents as in many cases they will be required to present these in order to take the children out of the country and back to Australia with them.

The nomination of a Permanent Guardian is typically carried out via your Will or a separate legal document. Given the implications of such as a nomination, we would always suggest seeking professional advice here to ensure that you’ve correctly documented the nominations, the nominees have all of the required documents, and are also aware of their potential obligations.

The final important step to consider is planning for the financial implications of somebody else needing to raise and take care of your children in the event of your unexpected passing. This is where your estate planning becomes incredibly important to ensure that they would be covered and that you could still ensure that they were afforded the same opportunities as you have planned for.

There are many aspects to consider here for your estate planning:

  • Wills: Ensuring that you have a valid Will and that you have considered how your assets would be distributed in the event of your death, particularly if this is to cover your childrens’ education for example.
  • Testamentary or Other Trusts: You may want to consider trusts as part of your overall estate planning, particularly if you have young children, as this may be an efficient way to plan for how their education and living costs would be covered in the event of your early passing.
  • Insurance Beneficiary Nominations: You may also want to consider how your insurance beneficiary nominations are structured, and any tax implications upon receipt of such a payout for your beneficiaries.
  • Superannuation Beneficiary Nominations: In a similar manner to your personal insurance policies, it’s also important to review your superannuation beneficiary nominations and ensure that they reflect your current wishes.

There is much to consider when it comes to ensuring that your children are protected, and would be appropriately cared for in the event of an unexpected disaster striking. If you have any questions about your own situation, please feel free to reach out to our team at Ally Wealth Management for an obligation-free discussion.

Ally Wealth Management is the trusted ally in finance for Australians at home and across the globe. As both Australian expats and residents, the founders of Ally have a unique understanding of the common personal financial challenges faced.

Book your complimentary appointment with our team at Ally Wealth Management to discuss how we can help you to achieve your financial goals.

Ally Wealth Management Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Sentry Advice Pty Ltd ABN 77 103 642 888. Sentry Advice holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) No. 227 748.

General Advice Warning: The information contained herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal advice. You should not act on any recommendation without considering your personal needs, circumstances, and objectives. We recommend you obtain professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.

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