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Appointing American guardians for UK children

(5 Posts)
gettingitright Thu 25-Oct-12 16:07:49

Hello, we need to update our wills as they predate our children. Does anyone know if it is possible to appoint American relatives as guardians for our children in the event of our deaths? Would the children be allowed to go and live in America or would this be a problem? Anyone got any experience of this or words of wisdom smile

Collaborate Thu 25-Oct-12 17:20:38

You can, although it would make things difficult in the immediate aftermath of your joint deaths if they are on the other side of the world.

The guardians would be the only people with parental responsibility and so able to take the children to the US, but if there was a dispute in the family another family member would be able to secure an order that the children are not removed from the country before the court gets a chance to say who they shall live with.

mommybunny Thu 25-Oct-12 17:25:13

Not sure if they can live in America if they aren't otherwise eligible, i.e., not sure if the mere fact of having a US guardian named for them will give them the right to live there if they don't have their own birthright to live there, iyswim. My DCs have US guardians named, but they have dual citizenship so could live there anyway.

gettingitright Thu 25-Oct-12 18:11:33

Ah thanks, it is potentially messy isn't it. I don't think there would be a fight for them from family here. I have spoken to the rest of the family about what we want to put in the will and they agreed that the American relatives would be in the best position to look after them but the children do not have dual citizenship...we've had the forms for over a year now for updating the will but there are so many stumbling blocks like this that we have not finalised it. Also maybe it would be worse if they were allowed to live there until 18 and then kicked out - don't know what to do for the best but all hopefully hypothetical and not needed anyway.

lljkk Thu 25-Oct-12 18:25:45

I imagine British family courts would exert jurisdiction over their fate. They would take into account loads of things, including your preferences (as stated in your will).
The best thing would be if your preferred guardians actually formally adopted the children, then they could have American citizenship. But you'd have to find out what British social services wanted, I imagine they'd have a very very long adoption procedure.

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