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No idea who would be guardian to dc.....

(14 Posts)
Tory79 Sat 01-Feb-14 21:50:52

Dh and I really need to do our wills. Dh has one but it's not up to date and I don't have one at all. I was talking to my friend about this as she has done one recently, and she was saying about selecting a guardian for her ds, which in her case was her sister, and quite straightforward.

The thing is I have no idea who we should choose. We have ds who is 2, and I'm pregnant with dc2. Dh parents are both nearly 70, my mum is younger, although not by much, but on her own so would certainly struggle with 2. And in any event, assuming dh and I died in eg 5-10 years, none of the grandparents are going to be in a position to look after young children full time. My brother lives VERY abroad, and won't be returning to the uk. Dh and I both agree that his brother would not be suitable. Ds godmother is my very good friend, and while I'd be more than happy for her to have him, they have 2 dc of their own and I think having 2 more would be an issue, especially financially (although obviously they would have money from our estate) ds godfather is dhs friend, his children are all grown up and I'm not sure he'd want to inherit another 2.

This is giving me sleepless nights! How on earth do you make sure your dc are looked after in the event of your death?!

mumblechum1 Sun 02-Feb-14 10:16:22

This is the one thing which puts people off making a will for years, it is an incredibly difficult decision for some people who, like you, don't have an obvious candidate.

I'm a will writer and always suggest in these circumstances that you put in a "good enough" guardian if there is no perfect one. The important thing to remember is that the guardian doesn't have to have your children living with them, but does have the ability to make decisions about where the children should live.

So for example, the children are aged 17 and 15 when the second of you dies (extremely unlikely that you will both pop off beforehand!). The 17 year old is in the middle of A levels and the 15 year old in the first year of GCSEs. It would obviously be inappropriate for them to be relocated to live with your brother if he's still abroad. It may not be such a big issue at that time for them to live with either of the godparents. What I'd suggest if I was doing your wills is to appoint all three of those people to be guardians. They would then get their heads together and decide whether the children would live with one of them or to board at school if that's an option, or to live with the family of one of their close friends, or someone with whom they have by that time a good and close relationship (one of your own close friends). You are giving them flexibility to make the decision that best suits your children at that time in their lives.

It is more important to make a will with perhaps a semi-open guardianship plan such as the one above than not make one at all, as the risks of having no will at all are that your husband isn't going to automatically inherit all of your estate and that can cause complications which result in him being forced to sell your home (depending on value) in order to put some of the money into trust for the children.

PM me if you need more info smile. Making a will takes up an hour of your time (or it does if you come to me!) and you can then tick it off the list of things keeping you awake at night

Sillybillybob Sun 02-Feb-14 10:24:17

My other suggestion is to talk to people. You have discounted one friend on the basis of what you think she would want. No one would particularly want it to be dropped out of the blue on them that they suddenly have to look after 2 extra children. But ask if she'd be happy to be a guardian in the capacity suggested above. Talk to her about the practicalities. It should never, and probably will never , happen. But preparation is key!

I hate all the secrecy surrounding wills, and guardianship etc. everyone in our family knows what's going to happen when we die. This way they can have any issues out with us now.

I think the advice above is very helpful.

mumblechum1 Sun 02-Feb-14 12:04:57

thanks Silly

Yes, definitely talk to the potential guardians, they may be much more willing than you expect.

Whoever has the care of the children will not be out of pocket, as the trustees will release money from the trust fund to pay for their maintenance, education and other expenses like holidays.

Tory79 Mon 03-Feb-14 15:47:08

Thank you both, I will talk this over with dh and see what he thinks. It's such a horrible thing to have to think about sad

Mumblechum where are you based?? I also have no idea how to go about finding someone to do our wills!

mumblechum1 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:02:06

I cover all of England and Wales by phone and email. Feel free to PM me if you like smile

shoom Mon 03-Feb-14 16:07:44

Mumblechum- can you recommend someone who covers Scotland? Thanks.

mumblechum1 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:13:00

Shoom, the Institute of Professional Willwriters, of which I'm a member, also has a Scottish arm.

I think The Guild of Will Writers also has a Scottish section, so if you try either of those you will be able to find someone who is qualified, insured and regularly audited.

shoom Mon 03-Feb-14 16:52:09

Thank you.

RestingActress Mon 03-Feb-14 16:56:07

Tory I am happy to vouch for mumblechum she has done lots of MNers wills, ours included, she gave amazingly good, compassionate (for after all it is an emotional decision) support and advice.

I will bump / link her ad (as she is not allowed to)

mumblechum1 Mon 03-Feb-14 16:57:01

thanks Resting Actress, that is lovely of you smile

RestingActress Mon 03-Feb-14 16:57:14

Tory79 Tue 04-Feb-14 20:50:00

Thank you both, Mumblechum I shall speak to DH at the weekend.

mumblechum1 Wed 05-Feb-14 07:46:58

smile Tory. You know where I am!

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