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Who would you choose as guardian for your child(ren)?

(17 Posts)
amistillsexy Fri 12-Apr-13 21:39:55

Following on from the really useful link to Cerebra's fund to help pay for a will, has anyone else had any thoughts about who they would ask to look after your children in the event of your death?

DH and I come back to this topic periodically, and we are in a bit of a fix really, so I thought I'd canvass opinions here.

We have three boys under 10, the eldest has ASD/PDA, so they are a handful!
DH has two brothers who we never see. One lives abroad, and the other lives on the other side of the country. He has no other close family.
I have a mum, who is in her late seventies, and two sisters who each have children of their own. I would not, for various reasons, leave them in charge of my goldfish, let alone my children. All my friends have disabled children of their own, and many of them have large families and financial difficulties.

So, what are our options with regards to finding guardians? Has anyone else been in a similar position?
Also, would we need to sort this before looking to draw up our wills?

AmberLeaf Fri 12-Apr-13 21:49:26

I understand your dilema!

Firstly, yes you definitely need to figure this out before drawing up your wills, this is really the main reason why I feel I need a will [cos I am skint, no fortunes to distribute!]

I just don't know.

I am no longer with my childrens Dad, but he is part of their lives and they see him regularly, but I don't know if he would be the best person to care for them, or if he would cope tbh.

I don't even know what the situation would be if I requested someone else look after them [particularly my youngest who has ASD] and he challenged that?

My parents are getting on and have their own health problems, so I don't know if they could cope either.

I think the hardest part of this is knowing that my son would really really struggle without me, now obviously I know that is true for all children who lose a parent, but my son is much more dependent if you know what I mean?

This is the reason why I have put off making a will for so long I think, I just don't know!

AmberLeaf Fri 12-Apr-13 21:53:24

What I mean by the bit about my son struggling without me, is that I just don't know who could even come close to replacing the bond we have or being able to understand his needs if you know what I mean?

2006hildy Fri 12-Apr-13 21:56:58

Yes good question.

ds dx HFA delayed expressive language age 6.

So far I think it will be his brother and three cousins being equal trustees financially as it would be too much burden for one person and they might not want the responsibility. I have chosen his own generation incase I am not around in the far future when he is an old man.

As for who will look after him, so far I have thought I would let the Disabilities team work that one out. Unless some really good advice comes along on this thread. His brother and three cousins/family visiting I would hope would do something if there was something not quite right eg Winterbourne scandal. Terrible as it is to think he may be abused without me. Everybody has their cross to bear at some point in their life but I think it may not happen. I will make his life as happy as I can while I am alive.

Icedcakeandflower Fri 12-Apr-13 22:10:25

When dh died, his solicitors strongly recommended I make a will. Two of my sisters volunteered to be guardians.

This was pre-dx of AS, but I am confident that either of them would make sure dc were looked after. It helps that both my sisters have much older children and most are grown up. One's about 2 hours away and the other's in a different continent. Dc know both of them and we have holidayed with the one abroad a few times smile.

amistillsexy Fri 12-Apr-13 22:19:22

Amberleaf, I feel the same way as you, in that I can't imagine anyone being able to look after DS1. I think it's only the depth of my love for him that keeps me going, day after day. No-one else loves him in that way sad. caring for him, and keeping on top of his demand avoidance, anxieties and desire to control/manipulate is exhausting.

At school, his 1-1 helpers have only lasted an average of a term before burning out, and I'm considering suggesting it's written into their contract that they only have him for a term, so that they can rotate and not have to leave their jobs due to the stress! Who on earth would do that for him day after day, with no break?

hildy, it's a good idea to think about siblings being trustees. Of course, my NT children are even younger than DS1, but it's a good idea for the future, when they are old enough. A couple of their cousins may turn out to be suitable and responsible enough as well, that is a good thought (and gives some hope for him if we can just last another 10 years or so! grin).

amistillsexy Fri 12-Apr-13 22:37:05

icecake, I'm sorry about your DH. It must be a relief to have your sisters volunteer to be guardians, and it's lovely that your Dc have got to know them.

shortfilmfan Fri 12-Apr-13 22:59:00

I'm a lone parent, with no contact from exH, so I've had to think about this. I have named my DSis when I made a will, but that was when DS was much younger and before he was dx'd, and also when she just had one dc herself. Now she has two dc, and DS's needs have increased over the years (is now in independent SN school) and, while she is a fab aunt and parent, she is clueless (as most people are) about the whole SN system.

I would worry that that DS's placement would get withdrawn and she wouldn't understand how to fight it - and perhaps just not be as motivated, as she'd have her own dc to worry about. DS would certainly be cared for, but I think the level of specialist knowledge I've gained about disabilities and advocating for DS is something that nobody else I know could do (except perhaps other mums I know with dc with disabilities - but they have enough to cope with and I'm not sure I'd have the energy to reciprocate). I have a modest amount of life insurance, but it was based on the cost of raising an NT child, so probably inadequate.

DS is a teenager now though, so I just have my fingers crossed that I last at least a few more years until adulthood (he still won't be fully independent then, but he is high functioning enough that he's likely to lose any support via SS or education anyway).

2006hildy Fri 12-Apr-13 23:07:48

Do we have to change our life insurance?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 12-Apr-13 23:37:44

This scares me - I don't have the luxury of naming my DC's fathers - DD's father has SN's himself, he has two DC's that already have SN's, and his wife works FT, plus they live 600 miles away from me, in the top end if Scotland.

DS1 hasn't spent time at his DSS's house since August last year, due to his SM's behaviour towards him.

DS2 & DS3's dad would try, but he has SN's and Autism himself, and can't cope with more than 2 days on his own with them.

I have no family - toxic and not suitable, SS would never allow it.

My friends all have financial issues and large families in social housing themselves.

My only sibling is 22 but has Aspergers, and is unable to cope with himself, much less 4 DC's on the Spectrum.

There really IS nobody.

I have decided that I am going to live to 100!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 12-Apr-13 23:38:32

DSS's = dad's. Autocorrect hates me this week!

WilsonFrickett Fri 12-Apr-13 23:41:03

A bit outy, but DS godparents have actually worked in SN support-type roles for 20 plus years and don't want their own children. We knew they didn't want their own DCs before we asked them to be his guardian, but we didn't know he had SN at that point.

We then have 3 trustees who will manage the money side of things, ie his dgs will have an allowance set by them and they then have to apply to the trust for any big extras.

Am I allowed a <preen>? It's one of the few things we are really on top of. We sort of mentioned it randomly to our solicitor when we were in discussing something else and she basically rode us until we sorted it out. It is a MASSIVE relief to get it sorted and I would urge everyone to grasp the nettle and get your wills sorted. Key thing is somone who wants them - so don't write off your own siblings who have their own DCs, etc.

Surrealistrhinoceros Sat 13-Apr-13 07:56:18

We are 'testamentary guardians' to a friends 4 children. Means we will not necessarily take them in in the event of anything happening, but will have responsibility for deciding their future and the best plans for them. Which might of course include adopting them but when we were asked we didnt know if we could commit to an extra four having a DS with SN.

Perhaps one of your mum friends with SN could take on a role like this? They might not be able to parent your DS full time but they'd probably be very good at advocating for him!

Sunnymeg Sat 13-Apr-13 13:15:05

We have appointed DS godparents to be guardians in case of need, we are godparents and would also become guardians to their children as well. Both sets of families do a lot together and they are very accepting of DS Aspergers. They have no other experience of SN other than our lad, but their approach to parenting is very similar to ours. They suggested the idea when DS was newborn and their children were toddlers. It is a relief to have it sorted. All my family live miles away and DH's family all have grown up children and probably wouldn't want to take him on if the truth be told.

insanityscratching Sat 13-Apr-13 22:52:48

Ds2 insists that he will be ds3 and dd2's guardian and as much as it pains me to say it he would be my very first choice as he is incredible with them. But I know it would limit his life, is a huge burden and the guilt will stop me doing so.

lisaloeb Sat 13-Apr-13 23:29:42

I really need to get a will sorted, but I would probably get DD1 looked after my parents, her biological father is absent and I don't think DH could look after DD in the long term whereas my mother adores and understands her and they are retired with the time to spend with her.

My other DC would stay with DH, as they are NT. But I would make sure of contact.

MummytoMog Sun 14-Apr-13 10:12:07

We have my best friend and her husband in our wills. Depending on how DD's needs progress, we may change that in the next few years. They've just had their own child, and I know it would be more difficult for them now to have my two, especially if DD needs more input than she gets currently. No real family options, my family totally out of the question, DH's parents pushing seventy so couldn't see them through (although would be awesome). BiL has just had his first child and SiL seems to be finding one, very lovely and cheerful baby hard to cope with, so don't think would manage with my monsters. Damnit. We're stuffed.

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