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Do godparents have rights?

View profile for Hayley Meskimmon
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If you're thinking of appointing godparents ( or have been asked to become a godparent), it's important to understand your legal position, should anything happen to prevent parents from caring for the child themselves.

What rights does a godparent have?

A godparent is not a legal appointment. This means that godparents have no automatic legal rights. If the parents were to die or become incapable of caring for their child/ren, godparents would not automatically assume legal responsibility for them.

To ensure that  a child/ children would be cared for in accordance with the parents their wishes if they die or became incapacitated, parents can appoint a legal guardian (which might be the godparent). This is normally done in conjunction with making a will.

The guardian would assume legal rights and obligations in respect of the child/ren in the event of there being no surviving parent with parental responsibility. The appointment of a guardian only takes effect on the death of any parent with parent responsibility. However, a guardian may apply to court for a residence order in respect of the child and if the Court considered it in the best interests of the child for him/her to be placed with their guardian then they can do this, rather than with the surviving parent

For more information and advice, contact our Wills and Probate teams in Huddersfield, Halifax or Brighouse.

Contact our experts for further advice

View profile for Kelly GillKelly Gill, View profile for Roy DunnRoy Dunn, View profile for Lauren AlletteLauren Allette, View profile for Linda HeatonLinda Heaton, View profile for Heather NuttallHeather Nuttall

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