Protect Your Children: What You Need To Know About Guardianship
Guardianship 101 by Little Steps Asia
Learn all you need to know about guardianship and how best to protect your children in Hong Kong.
Especially for expat parents living in Hong Kong or abroad, it is extremely important to understand the need to have a Last Will & Testament in place, and in addition to a Will, guardianship deeds to protect your children and ensure good provisions have been made for their future.
Any minor, a child under the age of 18 must have a guardian/s appointed for them who will be responsible for them in case there is an event where both parents were to pass away.
Did you know? Without a Will, your child may not be in the care of the right person. If there is no evidence of guardians being appointed for your child, then the State takes responsibility until a suitable guardian is found. This is important for parents to know, as no parent would want their child to be in State care!
What should you do? Read more…
Because tomorrow is never promised- one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to write a Will and plan your estate. Estate planning laws differ internationally, however one rule that stands true is that if you do not have a Last Will and Testament, the Government will make one for you!
Without a Will, your assets and estate will be distributed according to the generic laws in your country of domicile – splitting your belongings between your next of kin; e.g. partner and children, and in some countries even factoring in parents or siblings.
What if this is not how you wish your estate to be distributed?
Well, this is one of the greatest reasons for and why it is important to write your Last Will and Testament- to ensure your exact wishes are carried out after you have passed.
Contact us to create your Will and have peace of mind that your estate is planned for and your family is well looked after.
For those doubtful of why a Will is necessary, we’ve put together a list of five good reasons Why You Need A Will?
A Will is a legally binding document that allows you to decide exactly how you’d like your estate to be handled and distributed after you have passed away. A Will puts you in control and allows you to choose who is entitled to benefit from your estate and what they will inherit.
Passing away without a Will, the laws of intestacy will decide who inherits your estate, which often could be against your wishes.
Appointing guardians to have parental responsibility of your children, if they are minors is one of the most important reasons why you’d need a Will. Any child under the age of 18 must have an adult who is responsible for them.
What were to happen if something happened to both parents? Absent a Will, if guardians are not appointed for your children, the family court would choose among family members to appoint your children to. For expats in Hong Kong, if no family members are present your children would be placed in an orphanage! It will then be upon the courts’ decision to decide who, if anyone, is best fit to care for them.
Having a Will allows you to appoint guardians you’d want to raise your children.
3 – Choose Executors
When choosing who will administer your estate make sure to appoint someone who is organised, that you trust and who is honest. The executors of your Will will make sure that all your affairs are in order, from bank accounts and bills to business affairs. Executors have an important role in executing your Will according to your wishes and thus, another important reason to have a Will- to ensure the wind up of your estate and affairs are left in good hands.
4 – Avoid Lengthy Probate
Even with a Will probate is no walk in the park and takes some time, as the purpose of probate is to administer your estate. Passing on without a Will, known as dying intestate, probate can be a nightmare as the court decides how to divide your estate without your known wishes! Having a Will speeds up the probate process and allows the court to administer your estate according to your wishes.
5 – Ease Grieving
Losing a loved one is an immensely difficult period. Wouldn’t you want to make grieving less difficult for your loved ones? Writing a Will avoids having loved ones to deal with lawyers and administration during a time of sadness.
Don’t let procrastination get in the way of having a Will. Avoid unwanted stress on your family and protect them during an emotional time. Talk to our team about will writing services and planning your estate in Hong Kong.