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*HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A GUARDIAN FOR YOUR CHILDREN?*

(68 Posts)
AgathaRose Tue 25-Sep-07 23:18:33

DP and i finally had our first whole night away from 2yr old DD yesterday. -Great, but suddenly realised that we hadn't thought properly about what would happen to her if we were both killed in a car crash, so spent half the time talking about it.
There are no obvious aunt/uncle/godparent types we can ask. Grandmothers are great but not so young.
Would love to know how other people have tackled this one...

PregnantGrrrl Wed 26-Sep-07 01:05:52

i'm also thinking about this, as i want to make a will after DS2 is born, and include what provisions for care we'd like.

i think my SIL would be the right choice- lives locally, sane, decent job, youngish.

Suppose it's polite to discuss it with her first though!

MaureenMLove Wed 26-Sep-07 01:10:19

I supose DD would go to my mum. She's not that young, but then again neither is dd. She's 12 now, so theoretically (sp) she only needs care for another 5 or 6 years. God I really should have thought about this earlier, but then again, thank god my family didn't have to.

LucyCielo Wed 26-Sep-07 01:16:10

I have my mam as guardian (though she is only 47) after that it is sil. If no family about I would ask my best friend who is also dd's godmother to step in although this hasn't been agreed formally as would mean my whole family would be wiped out first. Who are the Godparents if they can't be relied on for such an eventuality?

MrsTittleMouse Wed 26-Sep-07 09:46:00

We have DD's grandparents (on my side) listed in our wills. When I was pregnant, we worried about their ages, but since DD was born we've seen how they are with her and couldn't think of having anyone else. We'll update our wills in 10 years, and we might have to reconsider then, but for now it's the right decision. So I suppose what I'm trying to say is that different people might be best at different times in your DD's life and if I were you I'd go with whoever is best for now.

RubySlippers Wed 26-Sep-07 09:48:52

choose people who are broadly in agreement with your parenting methods and other things which are important such as religion and schooling
we have just written our wills and my parents are nominated guardians

sarahtwobratz Wed 26-Sep-07 09:49:11

This whole thing terrifies me 'cos i wouldn't want either uncle to have kids, but parents are too old. Just grateful they have each other. Would a solicitor be able to advise on this? What about open adoption, can your relatives choose an adoptive parent and still maintain contact? Would love to know

Elibean Wed 26-Sep-07 09:51:01

We have my db and sil, who have two young children too. Not ideal in some ways, but they'd be loved and with family. Grandparents are too old (and dysfunctional grin) for guardianship, so if my brother hadn't been possible we'd have asked my best friend and her dh....they're great parents, and dd1 trusts them a lot.

As it is, we've given both girls 'godparents' of a non-trad sort, who can be their special grown-up friends and are down in our wills as people we'd like included in major decisions regarding our LOs welfare if we both died.

PetitFilou1 Wed 26-Sep-07 11:40:05

We chose a couple who are close friends of dhs (he went to medical school with both of them) who we thought would bring our children up in the same way we would do. We discussed it with them first and they said they were happy but may reconsider if we ended up having lots of children and so did they (which we agreed was completely reasonable). I didn't want to choose between our sisters, particularly as although I love her, one of my sisters has problems managing money that have been ongoing throughout her life.

QueenofBleach Wed 26-Sep-07 11:54:18

We have my sister and also my DB and SIL, sister is on her own and not in a financially great place at the momnet ut wants her if anything happens, my DB and SIL are willing to help financially and emotionally, they have three older boys, so betweenthe lot of them DD would be secure, happy and have a large family around her. WE all live within a mile of each other so we all see each other alot.

fridayschild Wed 26-Sep-07 11:59:31

We picked my brother and his wife simply because they were the closest relatives and there was a chance the boys would know them best. Sportingly they agreed, though it is only now, 5 years later, that SIL is PG so it would have been a huge disruption for them.

I remember my parents agreeing to be named as guardians for the children of friends of theirs.

phdlife Wed 26-Sep-07 12:02:18

We're tearing our hair out over this.

I have one sister who is wealthy, but nuts.

Another who has 2 dc's and is a fab mum to them - but far more strict/disciplinarian than I will ever be with ds.

dh's sister doesn't seem able to have kids and doesn't seem to mind much.

So who should we "leave" ds to? (hate even thinking about it...)

TheMadHouse Wed 26-Sep-07 12:06:24

We asked our best friends, who are also related to me.

They are a wonderful couple with an 18 year old daughter who could not have any more children.

We also asked them to be both the mini mads godparents.

we discussed it with them and they agreed, we also informed both mum and MIL of our choice. They are very down to earth people and parent like we do and have the same morals and values that we have. we thought very hard about our decision and are still happy with it

KerryMum Wed 26-Sep-07 12:08:14

I am really torn up about this one. I don't want them going to xh (and he knows as such) mostly because I don't trust him with their health problems, he is becoming forgetful (older) and has health problems of his own. As well his gf is an ex-junkie who had her own son removed from her. So really not liking that scenario.....

ladymuck Wed 26-Sep-07 12:16:09

We initially chose some friends who are slightly older than us but would be fantastic parents for them both, sharing our thoughts on values, religion etc.

Our arrangement was that we would check with each other annually around the birthdate of ds1, and so acknowledging that life changes, and as they grow it may be more important for them to continue at the same school say (ie after a sudden death of both of us).

We've tended to avoid choosing friends where it would have meant that they were dealing with say 5 under 5s, but now both dcs are at school I think that they are a different proposition.

Our friends have moved even further away and so we're going to have to choose someone else which is tricky. The couple that we're going to ask already have 4 children, but would be fantastic. We're hoping that the dcs trust fund would be tempting enough for them to say yes. But they would (at this moment) have 6 children between the ages of 3 and 7, 5 of whom are boys. Hmmm.

Loochyloo Wed 26-Sep-07 12:27:35

I thought about this alot too and finally asked a cousin of mine who also has a son of exactly ds age. She's a great mum to him (tho I think she's a bit soppy!) and a really really nice giving person I always come away from seeing her vowing to be more like that (lasts for about 1/2 hour.) Thought it was important for ds to have someone who he knows and who is young enought to be a good mum (and her husband would be a great dad but I'm a single mum so kind of forget to factor in male bit sometimes!) Have to confess tho I haven't told grandma

TwoThumbsDon Wed 26-Sep-07 12:52:45

I chose my bf and her husband because they are very family oriented and have the same outlook on raising children as we do. I know my brother and sis would both be willing, but they and their partners are job and career focused and both have also chosen not to have children of their own.

PregnantGrrrl Wed 26-Sep-07 13:32:46

Rubyslippers- what's the best way to go about making a will? Is it expensive?

faylisa Wed 26-Sep-07 13:44:05

You can set out a guardianship clause in your Will but please remember that it is not legally binding - that means that if someone objected to your wishes, after you'd died, then the clause could be challenged and ultimately a family court would decide who became the guardian - they would of course take your expressed wishes into account when making that decision but could overturn your wishes.

If you are going to nominate someone who might be 'contentious' then you could consider writing a separate letter, to be kept with your Will, explaining why you have made the choice that you have and why you are excluding a seemingly more 'obvious' choice. Again, that letter wouldn't be binding but a Court might agree to look at your reasons when making its final decision.

If you are considering appointing a 'contentious' guardian and excluding immediate family then it would be a good idea to discuss your reasons with your solicitor before making your Will.

Sorry to be a bit negative but I have seen this problem occur.

Tortington Wed 26-Sep-07 13:48:42

can an 18 year old be a guardian?

QueenofBleach Wed 26-Sep-07 13:52:44

My brother was our guardian if needed, I think he was about 19 at the time, there were trust funds and close family support available for us all though.

PetitFilou1 Wed 26-Sep-07 14:07:07

phd I wouldn't choose any of them! Although second sister sounds fine to me. Would choosing between them cause jealousy/family problems? If so I really wouldn't go there.

PetitFilou1 Wed 26-Sep-07 14:09:06

PG Making a will is easy, not expensive and is absolutely essential if you have a)any assets or b)any dependents. You could leave your family in a real mess if something happened to you and you didn't have one. Just find a solicitor, tell them you want to make one, you meet them and go through it and that's it really.

Hulababy Wed 26-Sep-07 14:13:00

custardo - yes an 18yo can be a guardian.

Hulababy Wed 26-Sep-07 14:14:36

PG - the best way to make a will is see a solicitor. Price depends on who you see, where in the country you are and how detailed the will needs to be. Tax planning wills are much dearer than a straight forward will. Once month each year (can't remmeber which) is will week where you can have a will done for free, done via a charity.

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