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too want my parents to look after DD if god forbid something happened to DH and myself?

(26 Posts)
SufferingSuccotash Fri 14-Sep-07 09:24:38

This topic of who would look after our DD if something happened to both of us has come up as we are about to write a will.

DH would want his sister (SAHM) to bring up DD, but i strongly disagree. REASONS: she already has 2 children that spend their days in creches while she is at the gym, or on family holidays they are either left behind or in a playgroup all day, at family meals out she will sit as far away from them as possible and expects everyone else to look after them, and there has been a few occasions where I am suprised they have not been hurt or worse (e.g. on our wedding day I found her little girl aged 5 wandering by the river at our reception, it was 15mins before her mum came to find her!)

This is not the life I would choose for DD if I wasnt here. My parents are in their early fifties and love her to bits, I truely believe from the bottom of my heart that she would have a happier life with them if the worst happened.

Am i being unreasonable as the main carer to think my opinion should be more important?

Does anyone know how this would stand legally if we didn't put a section about DD's care in our will?

Hulababy Fri 14-Sep-07 09:26:59

No you are not being unreasonable, but you and DH will need to sit and chat about all these reasons and come to some agreement.

If there is nothing in your will the family generally decide, and if they can't agree it would go to court for the court to decide. It may well go to court anyway to finalise things.

If you have your wishes in your will it is still not legally biding, although the court will take your wishes into account.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 14-Sep-07 09:27:12

You are not unreasonable at all - but you do both have to agree about what you want. And also, you need to know that your paents would not only agree to do this but would be physically able to do it.

Don't know what the legal situatin is, but if you've expressed it in your will I would hope that your wishes would be fulfilled if they can be.

whiskeyandbeer Fri 14-Sep-07 12:04:26

your not being unreasonable to want it.
i do think your unreasonable to use your status as the primary carer to try and over rule your husband and get your own way, although i understand it is clearly an emotional and important issue.
as has been said before me it is something that you both need to discuss and come to a mutual agreement over.

Blandmum Fri 14-Sep-07 12:09:11

You need to agree on a joint decision with you dh. You then need to ask the people who would be involved, to see if they would agree.

You would then have to make this clear in your joint wills.

(we are in this situation atm, since our wills have to be re-written in light of dhs illness, you do have to make your wishes clear in the will)

bubblagirl Fri 14-Sep-07 12:18:44

i think you should agree that your parents would be given first choice and if they truly felt unable to look after her then his sister would get full custody as although your parents are in 50@ fit and healthy when and if somthing happened who knows what circumstances they may might be in so it should be given to them as a choice incase they them selves are unable for whatever reason

you are as main carer going to want it to be your parents but you have to respect he would want his family so put forward you want your family to have first choice and if for any reson they are unable then his sister would have your dd

MillieMummy Fri 14-Sep-07 12:29:22

Really glad this topic has been raised. DH and I are agreed that if anything happens to us his sister would raise our DD and DS. The problem is that I know my parents would fights this tooth and nail. I don't want to raise this with my parents (the obvious solution - talk to them whilst I'm still here) because it would cause an almighty row and I don't have the energy. We are going to write a will soon (on the list of things to do) can I include a 'letter from the grave' to my parents explaining my reasons for leaving the kids with s-in-law and asking them not to challenge the decision ?

bubblagirl Fri 14-Sep-07 12:45:10


i think its natural that both parents you and hubby would each want own family to look after child i think when it comes to parents looking after child you have to think in few yrs beings they are older they have more opportunity to have health problems you could say that whilst his sister being younger having kids would be more ideal but you could state that your parents while they see fit could have child or children every weekend as they do deserve time to relax and if his sister is more than capable and has children for your child to play with and stay with nanny and grandad of weekend then everyone is happy they wouldn't have to take on such a huge responsibility later in life

after all its the childs best interest that matters not a personal battle and i'm sure your parents would be happy with the choice as they would still play active roll and still have there time to grow old gracefully you could also put that they could have holiday with child/children for so many weeks of year and to be worked out with his sister

Peachy Fri 14-Sep-07 12:55:21

we have discussed this at length due to dh's continuing lack of contact with jis Mum who has before expressed a wish to raise the kids if something happened to us.

We ahve chatted through it with my parents,a nd they ahve agreed to take the children- both my sisters would help to minimise any strain due to age. there is also a clause expressing a wish for sustained contact with dh's dad who woudl be unable to take the chidlren, but does love them.

MIL is not to be considered even if all else fails, for very difficult reasons (briefly, 2 of our 3 are sn and MIL many years ago, when dh was tiny, knew a disabled relation was being sexually absed by another relation and allowed it to continue as it prevented a real child being abused- yes, well!!).

It's a difficult situation, take intoa ccount who the chidlren will be most confortable with, and remember that they will need input from both sides of the family so shared acre of some sort might be the best option anyway- SIL having children weekends, for example, would give older parents a break.

LizP Fri 14-Sep-07 12:58:39

One reason for not having grandparents is so that children don't suffer the loss of two sets of carers as the grandparents may die sooner than aunts etc.

We are going to ask friends rather than siblings for ours.

krang Fri 14-Sep-07 13:01:42

It's difficult. We decided that my parents would be best carers for DS if god forbid etc etc...and we made that decision purely on the basis of what would be best for DS, not taking into account any family politics whatsoever.

I would really try to come to some agreement as if the worst did happen I am sure a court battle would be the last thing you would want for your DD.

But well done for thinking of it and for actually writing a many people don't and it leads to so much bad feeling.

BellaMummy Fri 14-Sep-07 13:02:01

I think it's really important to talk about it - as depressing as talking about stuff like that is - because the alternative is possibly a long drawn out battle between those left behind (worst case scenario, obviously). You and your dh should also try and agree something you are both happy with, so maybe persevere with talking to him about it and explaining how strongly you feel.

My dh and I agreed that my sister would have our dd and put it in our wills. Problem is he doesn't want to tell his family as he thinks they would be upset. I guess we just have to hope that they never find out!

BellaMummy Fri 14-Sep-07 13:03:46

Meant to add that we have based this on how we want her to be raised - to OP, doesn't sound like your SIL shares your parenting style, to say the least!

stripeybumpsmum Fri 14-Sep-07 13:18:34

You need to get some decebt legal advice on this.

The basic legal provision for wills in the UK is that as long as the will was done correctly, your wishes take precedence. Relatives may chose to contest it but it is extremely unlikely they will be able to overturn it. To challenge it they would have to either prove there was undue influence on you when writing the will or some other aspect of child protection legislation rather than the law relating to wills.

You will have to set up some kind of trust for your children as well as specifying who will do the child care. You can include 'letters from the grave' but unless they are specifically included in the will, the trustees will have to consider the contents of the letter but are not bound to follow the directions in it.

Your faith as parents in the ability of the people you chose to be carers overrides family politics. Your child's welfare shouldn't be dependent on who is least likely to be upset. You do need to future-proof a will so you need to think about who will care for your children in the event the original choice is not available.

We have chosen DH's brother and SIL as primary carers, with both them and my brother and SIL as trustees. That way, both sides have a say on major topics but day to day decisions are not fought over at court. I do not agree with my brother's parenting of his DC, but equally I know he has the right motives and love so would consider it unreasonable to exclude him.

A letter to be opened in the event of our deaths expresses our wishes for contact with (those surviving) grandparents etc.

My advice would be to find out from a solicitor what options you have, then have a discussion with DP, then write the will.

bubblagirl Fri 14-Sep-07 13:21:52

we have 3 sets of grandparents a sister with 2 kids and no room and a brother who is well a typical run around who would not cope with responsibilty so as much as i wouldn't really want my ds to go with grandparents he would have to

i would want our ds to go with my parents obviously but my mum has arthritus in hands and would struggle every day my dad works full time

my dp dad and step mum wouldn't cope full time as both have busy lives and seem to struggle for few hours and my dp mum and step dad would be best as his step dad has natural bon with our ds although they live far away at moment have plans to move back so if anything happened they would be ideal but i would also have it written up that my dp dad and my parents would have alternate weekends and in school holidays they would all have 2 weeks very difficult to make sure all maintain regular contact but think would be best for our ds

bubblagirl Fri 14-Sep-07 13:23:33

but i intend to be around along time so hoping that will never happen makes me feel so sad to have to think about not seeing him grow up i'm as stubborn as hell so i will be here lol

BellaMummy Fri 14-Sep-07 13:45:31

I'm with you Bubblagirl! The grim reaper will have to take me kicking and screaming - I intend to see my dd become an OAP grin

NAB3 Fri 14-Sep-07 14:05:18

You must put a section in your will regarding the care of your DD. The concern you are showing now would count for nothing if you didn't. You specify who you want as her guardian and maybe get their agreement in writing. Also make your your parents know your feelings on your SIL.

cat64 Fri 14-Sep-07 14:22:42

Message withdrawn

Paddington64 Fri 14-Sep-07 15:00:45

We've decided, and agreed, on one of our friends looking after dd3 until such a time that dd1 finished her Uni education and can choose if she wishes to take over. Dont want grandparents or uncles or aunties bringing her up! Don't agree with any of their parenting 'skills'! But I too will give the Grim Reaper hell if he shows his ugly face before Im a Grandparent at least!!

SufferingSuccotash Fri 14-Sep-07 17:45:52

Thank you everyone for your comments, I really appreciate them!

Unforunately my DH flatly refuses to consider anyone except his sister as he believes the sun shines from her a**! We have discussed this at length but just cant agree sad. Even when I recount the examples of poor parenting (or at least things that I wouldnt do - e.g thinking it was really funny that her daughter kissed a dead bird and played with it for a morning!) he just smiles says "Oh that just her...."

Peachy your MIL sounds horrific! shock

Bouquetsofdynomite Fri 14-Sep-07 17:55:45

Could you get him to agree that your mum or dad would be the best person to be executor for both your wills and leave it undecided. Then, should you both die before you've agreed, the executor gets final say?

welshdeb Fri 14-Sep-07 21:54:43

kissed a dead bird .......
full of decomposing flesh bacteria etc,
I thought I was a bit lax in the parenting stakes but that is eugh

kindersurprise Fri 14-Sep-07 22:19:43

Bird flu anyone? Kissed a dead bird? Urgh, my DCs have been taught in Kindergarden not to even pick up feathers.

Am totally shock at your mil.

We have a rather complicated situation. My parents live in UK, PILs in Germany. We had agreed that we would ask my brother, but now he has a fiance who has a child from earlier marriage. She has similar parenting style to ours, but I don't know how her DS would cope.

Anyway, I am a bit concerned about the international aspect. I could imagine my SIL offering/wanting to take our DCs, but that is absolutely not an option. She is very lazy and I would not want my children being brought up by her.

Does anyone know what happens when the parents are from different countries? Are there international guidelines? Do we have to make up 2 wills, one for each country?

Bouquetsofdynomite Mon 17-Sep-07 10:48:39

Wills have nothing to do with nationality but if you live in the UK it makes sense to nominate an executor who lives nearish. We got our wills done free as part of our Barclays bank account package. We made my sister executor because she is the most sensible and savvy person we both know. We don't mind if our kids end up with any of our siblings but as executor she would get the final say as we can't predict everyone's future situations.

Would have thought your brother was even more suitable now he has a family of his own. Wouldn't worry about his stepsopn-to-be, perhaps growing up with orphans might make you a more sensitive person anyway.

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