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Skip Navigation LinksHome > Legal information > Living in the community > Taking care of other people's affairs > Who will look after the children if I die?

Who will look after the children if I die? 

Legal Aid Queensland cannot give legal advice about this type of law

We cannot provide further assistance or advice on this area of law beyond the legal information below.
Please refer to one of the organisations listed at the bottom of this page if you need more help.

Legal Information

Can I appoint someone in my will to look after my child when I die?

You can nominate someone in your will as a 'testamentary guardian' of your child.  A testamentary guardian will be able to make decisions about the long term care of the child such as education or religion.  Appointing a testamentary guardian does not necessarily mean that your child will live with that person if you die.

When can the testamentary guardian have the daily care of my child?

A testamentary guardian will only have the daily care of your child if the other parent is dead and there are no family court or federal circuit court orders in place saying who your child is to live with. If there is a dispute after you die between relatives or the other parent and the testamentary guardian, the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court can resolve disputes about where your child should live.

What if the other parent is still alive?

When a testamentary guardian is appointed they will share their obligations with another surviving parent and any other existing guardian.

An existing guardian or surviving parent may apply to the supreme court to cancel the appointment of a testamentary guardian. You should get legal advice.

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Do I need legal advice?

You may need legal advice if:

  • you have questions about nominating a testamentary guardian to care for your child if you die
  • there is a dispute between relatives, or the other parent and the testamentary guardian about where a child should live
  • you are applying to the supreme court to cancel the appointment of a testamentary guardian.
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Where can I get legal advice

Legal Aid Queensland cannot provide legal advice on will related matters, including the appointment or application to cancel a testamentary guardian.

We may provide legal advice if there is a dispute about where a child should live.

The following organisations may be able to give legal advice on your matter.

Community legal centres give legal advice on a range of topics. Contact them to see if they can help with your matter.

Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation.

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Who else can help?

These organisations may also be able to assist with your matter. They do not provide legal advice.

Family Court hears disputes about family law matters and provides information and forms on family law matters.

Federal Circuit Court hears disputes about family law matters and provides information and forms on family law matters.

Supreme Court hears applications to cancel the appointment of a testamentary guardian.

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Disclaimer - Copyright © 1997 Legal Aid Queensland. This content is provided as an information source only and is not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer. Legal Aid Queensland believes the information is accurate as at 1 July 2007 but accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions and denies all liability for any expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur due to the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way.



Last modified: 17 April 2014 11:53AM
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Who will look after the children if I die?