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want to change legal guardians for DDs

(53 Posts)
whoneedssleepanyway Thu 01-Sep-11 07:47:21

My BIL and his wife are named guardians for our DDs in our will.

I wasn't totally sure but DH was fairly insistent saying neither of my siblings were suitable on basis they weren't married to their respective partners at the time and lived too far from both our parents. I ended up agreeing just to get will done.

My relationship with BIL's wife is pretty strained. She has one DS roughly same age as DD2, he has SNs as a result of problematic delivery. All signs are no mental disability but some physical issues but that said he is doing amazingly and is a v active toddler. She has admitted to me once jealousy of our situation (2 healthy DDs). She is also v open that it is unlikely she will have more children and doesn't know how people cope with two.

I really want to change guardians in the will to my brother. Both my siblings are now married and settled with a child of their own. I just don't feel BIL and his wife are the best people (partly down to my personal issues with her). I have no idea how to convince DH I know he will disagree and it could cause a big row but I feel very strongly about this.

Any advice?

Kayano Thu 01-Sep-11 07:56:41

Well from what you've said I feel YABU. Nothing of what she said seem to indicate they would be unsuitable?

What does DH, BIL and her think? You mitt cause unnecessary offence and make things worse? I also don't think why her having a SEN child is relevant?

NoTeaForMe Thu 01-Sep-11 08:00:13

I think you have to do the only thing you can do, which is talk to your husband!! The main thing is that you and your husband are both happy with who you choose and if he doesn't think your siblings are suitable and you don't think his are maybe you need to look outside the family?

Have you told your BIL that he will be legal guardian? I can imagine that now telling him he isn't would be an awkward conversation!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 01-Sep-11 08:00:15

Best solution that would avoid all unpleasantness..... don't die.

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 01-Sep-11 08:01:29

It isn't the SN thing that was more background as to why things became strained (she distanced herself from us wouldn't let us help) my point was more she doesn't want more children and that I can't imagine my children being looked after by someone I didn't have a close relationship with.

Callisto Thu 01-Sep-11 08:01:42

I think you sound unreasonable too. Just because she doesn't want more children doesn't mean she wouldn't be a wonderful mother to your own shoould something happen to you. I don't want anymore children but I would give any nephew or niece in the family a home without hesistation should the situation arise. It sounds your SIL is doing a brilliant job of raising her own child too, so she isn't exactly a 'bad' mother.

hairfullofsnakes Thu 01-Sep-11 08:02:01

This is important and if you don't feel comfortable then change them! Tell your dh you are concerned about how she feels - your sil - about having more than one and about your relationship with her

Leave your feelings for your bil out of it though!

mrsravelstein Thu 01-Sep-11 08:02:27

i had a similar situation. we had my SIL as guardian when dc2 was born, but by the time dc3 arrived, SIL's situation had changed in various ways which made me feel she would be totally ill equipped to deal with the responsibilities of becoming a guardian. in the meantime, my brother had married a lovely girl and moved close to us so they were spending lots of time with our kids. so we changed it.

offending her or your dh is worth it to really get to the bottom of this, as it is so important to ensure that if the worst happened, your kids would be looked after by the person you choose.

i was worried dh would disagree but i was very gentle about it, made sure not to slate his sister in any way, and he came around.

Callisto Thu 01-Sep-11 08:03:20

You still haven't given us a reason, or even half a reason, why she isn't a suitable guardian. Apart from the fact that you don't like her (and you haven't given a reason for that). confused

NoTeaForMe Thu 01-Sep-11 08:04:01

I disagree with Kayano I think the fact that she has a SN child is relevant as this is hard work and you would be adding to it by giving her you children if anything were to happn to you, plus your SIL has said that she wouldn't want anymore children. Have you spoken to tem about the guardianship?

hairfullofsnakes Thu 01-Sep-11 08:04:40

Yanbu at all by the way - you have to feel comfortable about this and if you don't you must change it for your peace of mind. All that matters is that you feel secure about who you appoint and you dont about her so changebit and don't feel bad about it at all. X

CamperFan Thu 01-Sep-11 08:06:02

Callisto, how on earth can you ascertain that her SIL is doing "a brilliant job"?? OP, whether you are being unreasonable or not, if you are not completely happy with the situation then you need to discuss it with your DH and come up with a scenario that everyone is comfortable with.

TandB Thu 01-Sep-11 08:06:31

I think there is a perfectly valid reason - the SiL has said she doesn't want more children and doesn't know how people would cope with more than one.

I can entirely see why the OP would be worried about the way in which her two DDs would be received into a household where at least one party is uncertain about coping.

If there is a viable alternative then I don't see a problem with changing.

tabulahrasa Thu 01-Sep-11 08:07:23

I don't want any more children but I'm guardian for my nephew if anything happens to my sister and BIL - it doesn't have anything to do with it.

Kayano Thu 01-Sep-11 08:07:56

But no tea, OP said SIL child
Is doing 'amazing' so surely she is providing an excellent quality of care? It just seems to me OP is trying to go back on the decision made and will cause bother.

Also... Discounting brother and their partner due to being unmarried is a bit... Well.... It is 2011

Callisto Thu 01-Sep-11 08:10:28

Because the SEN child is doing 'amazingly well'. Or is his mother's input and parenting irrelevant to his progress?

nannyl Thu 01-Sep-11 08:11:04

Change it now

we have MIL as our babies legal guradians if we both die.
They are solicitors so have written it into our will etc

they know that in time (ie once any of our siblings is in a situation where looking after our children really wont ruin their life, aka think seriously about children for themselves) we will be changing it.

At this moment in time we both feel that MIL and step FIL would be the best people to care for our child(ren), but it will be changed in time...

Kayano Thu 01-Sep-11 08:13:27

They key there Nanyl is that you both feel that way, clearly OPs DH does

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 01-Sep-11 08:18:17

I have not said she is a bad mother she is a great mother to her DS. I have good relationship with BIL. I just can't imagine my DDs going to someone I am not close that really so awful?

Kayano Thu 01-Sep-11 08:23:36

No but you can't change legal guardians by yourself and I still don't think the reasonings are great tbh.

It's not about who is closer to you, it's about who would take better care
Of your child?

Shakirasma Thu 01-Sep-11 08:23:56

You must feel comfortable with your choice so please speak to your DH.

However your reasons for feeling they are unsuitable are pretty lame. I am named guardian for my brothers kids and vice versa. We have both completed our families, my DH has had a vasectomy! But that doesn't mean if the worst happened I wouldn't be there like a shot to collect my orphaned niece and nephew and bring them home. It's a totally different situation to having more babies of your own.

And regards her other comments about coping, everybody says that especially if they have challenging children. People ask me how I cope with 3, I wonder how people cope with 4! The simple answer is you just do because you have no choice. It's not as hard as you imagine it is but you can't understand that until you are on that situation yourself.

I have a little boy with SN, I can understand her envy of your girls and even her withdrawal from you. That does not mean she would not be a wonderful guardian to your kids if fate dictated it.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 01-Sep-11 08:32:23

YANBU. This is an important decision and if you don't feel comfortable with the set up, you don't feel comfortable. I think you should be able to voice your (quite legitimate) concerns- SIL doesn't think she'd cope with more than one child- without there being a row about it. They are as much your children as your husbands after all. You both want what's best for them, you just have different priorities wrt this.

We haven't made a formal decision about this stuff yet but both DP and I would want DP's sister and her DH guardians of our DC. Failing that, my cousin and her DH. We've disregarded all the parents because we don't feel they'd cope and DP doesn't get on well with my sister and her DH so that's a no no. He wouldn't be happy knowing that if we both carked it they would take care of our DC. I understand that. It's the same reason I wouldn't want his aunt ever even babysitting our DC. I can't bloody stand her.

ellisbell Thu 01-Sep-11 08:33:12

you don't have to have the same will as your husband. If you die together and are younger then him you will be deemed to have died later and your will will prevail. You don't have to tell anyone you've changed guardians, although it would be better to be sure those you have appointed are willing to act. Dh and I had different wills for a time, he'd agreed to change his but didn't get around to it.

Who you want to look after your children is a very personal decision, but you don't have to have a major row over something that will probably never happen.

mummytime Thu 01-Sep-11 08:55:59

I think you not being comfortable with them as guardians is a great reason to changed it!
But you do need to discuss with your DH and come up with names you both approve of.

Sorry but if we are allowed gut feelings in choosing schools then shouldn't we allow them even more in guardians?

Lizcat Thu 01-Sep-11 08:58:29

We had a slightly different situation DS and BIL were DD's guardians, but then they had a third child and I really felt that if my DD was a doubly bereaved child she would need a huge amount of support that would put a tremendous strain on their family. This also came at the same time as DD going to school and I realised that I wouldn't want her to move away from her school at such a difficult time.
We discussed this with them and that of course even though they were no longer her guardians BIL is one of the trustees of our wills so would be involved in her upbringing.
They completely understood and were more than happy with our new choice DD's godfather and his wife who have two boys who are a little bit older and already have a very close relationship to DD. They live close to DD's school and she would be able to remain their with her support network of friends.
I don't plan on dying, but just want everything sorted should the worst happen.

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