THE GUARDIAN

DRUM - - Advice -

This is the per­son who will be legally li­able for a child’s care if both par­ents die or be­come in­ca­pac­i­tated.

As a par­ent, you must nom­i­nate a guardian in your will. You can contact the Fidu­ciary In­sti­tute of South­ern Africa (Fisa) – see Get more help here – to rec­om­mend a lawyer, fi­nan­cial plan­ner or trust com­pany to draw up a will for you.

If both par­ents pass away, the master of the high court ap­points the nom­i­nated per­son as the le­gal guardian. They’re then re­quired to take care of the child un­til their charge turns a cer­tain age – usu­ally 18.

If only one par­ent dies, even if you’re di­vorced, the other bi­o­log­i­cal par­ent au­to­mat­i­cally be­comes the sole guardian un­less a court rules oth­er­wise.

If you don’t ap­point a guardian, the master will de­cide who should raise your kids. But it’s not ideal – the per­son the court chooses might be some­one of fi­nan­cial means but not some­one you like.

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