Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.


Legal guardians

15 replies

wobblymum · 28/05/2003 11:11

DH and I are expecting our first baby on 20th June and we're about to make a will just in case anything happens. In the will we want to put who we want as a legal guardian in case we both die at the same time. The only close family we've got are my parents, his parents and my sister and brother in law.

I don't want to put his parents because we don't get on very well, we don't want to put mine because they're nearly 60 and past the stage where they can really look after kids. Also, if we put one set of parents the other set is bound to be really annoyed. So the obvious answer is to put my sister and her husband. The only thing is, they're really against having kids of their own (they love their careers and free lives!) and they're funny about legal stuff so if we asked them they might say no anyway. Then I'd feel bad about not asking my parents.

What do you think we should do? There's really no-one else that we'd feel comfortable with.

OP posts:

Marina · 28/05/2003 11:35

We went for my sister in the end (also a free agent, not keen on having own children, and not that hot on legal stuff either!) and she was delighted to be asked. But she is joint guardian with ds' godparents, who have children the same age, and it has been agreed (and written in our will) that ds would live with the godparents but my dsis would have a say in his upbringing and continue to represent his birth family.
Like you, both sets of parents are non-starters on this front because of age and unsuitability.
If you are planning a naming/baptism for your baby, who will you have as sponsors/godparents? That might help you think of other scenarios if close family really aren't ideal.


marialuisa · 28/05/2003 12:32

similar situation, both DH and i have divorced parents, his parents non-starters for numerous reasons, my mum a financial nightmare but loves DD and the only (adult) relly who has any sort of close emotional bond to DD. My dad is a S**t but very responsible, good with money. Siblings too young on my side and we see DH's brothers once a year, plus unsuitable for other reasons. We decided that we had to make a will, mainly to ensure that DH's relatives don't butt in, DD's godparents were considered but her godfather had just started a new relationship and we didn't feel it was fair to ask as he's not "settled", godmother works in Cambodia....

Solution was for my mum to have care and day-to-day responsibility for DD (she'd have been very hurt otherwise) but that my dad and our solicitor will act as trustees and provide income to mum and keep the rest for DD rather thanlet it go into the blackhole of my mum's finances. The solution isn't perfect but it's better than nothing and will be best for DD emotionally.


wobblymum · 28/05/2003 13:22

Thanks for all the advice - you both seem to have it wrapped up nicely!

I think I'll just have to ask my sister and hope she's fine about it because parents are really out of the question.I wouldn't want to ask any of our friends because they probably wouldn't be too keen but also I don't know any of them well enough to be comfortable having my child live with them.

I think my sis will be keen when she knows that we're taking out hefty life insurance (just in case)!!!!

OP posts:

marialuisa · 28/05/2003 13:27

Yes, Dh was saying the other day that DD would be much better off if we died when she gets to 16!


eefs · 28/05/2003 14:01

this is a problem for me too, I don't know who to ask so have just stuck my head in the sand and tried to ignore the need for it, not a good solution if something happens to us. My parents are brilliant but too old, dp parents are willing but wouldn't be able for it (both disabled and from the stories dp tell's I wouldn't want ds there anyway), I have one settled sister who seems perfect on paper, but she and I hqve different parenting practices so I don't think ds would fit in there, and all our other siblings are not settled yet. If I asked outside of the family, our familys would be very hurt. I do realise though that I have to sort this out, We have a lot of thinking ahead of us.
Good luck Wobblymum, glad you're trying to sort it out before the baby arrives


marialuisa · 28/05/2003 14:15

One of our motives for resolving it was because of our "difficult" families. It's been hard accepting that there is no-one ideal but we've just accepted things and hope that the situation won't arise. It was very important to us that DH's parents did not have any influence on DD and we have manged to arrange that, so for now we are happy to leave things. my mum actually has some health problems but there really is no-one else.


runragged · 28/05/2003 20:26

Just wanted to say about life insurance, in fact I am a total bore about it and insist on telling anyone I bump into with kids (no not that bad really) I have just taken out a life insurance policy called family income benefit which pays out an annual sum on death. So I have got £12k per year until the youngest is 18 and it cost £6 a month(I am 30) Joint cover is also possible. I mean £6 / month that's £1.50 a week, practically nothing for all that peace of mind! So I've got the house covered and an income to raise the children.
Anyway, my sister is my guardian but she is unmarried and so my trustees include my brother just to keep her on the straight and narrow!


SamboM · 28/05/2003 20:29

runragged, who is this with? And is it index linked?


runragged · 28/05/2003 20:41

SamboM, apparently everyone does it but I had never heard of it until another mother mentioned it. I asked my financial advisor and he got me a load of quotes. Ask your current life insurance people if they do it and you might be able to add it on to the policy - (don't have to pay the admin fee then which is £2 of the £6!!! - daylight robbery.) But mines with Scottish Equitable. Oh and you chose the amount and term, ie £15k until youngest 16, 21 or whatever and it can be index linked but mine isn't and it is a guarenteed policy, ie £6 forever. I might up the ante later on but am really poor at the moment so have just bought a "cushion" for peace of mind, to give my sister money to look after them. Hopefully it's never needed and turns out to be a total waste of money!!


wobblymum · 29/05/2003 10:12

I think if our parents were different we might have 'forgotten' to tackle this issue for years but we know that if we did happen to pop off together, there would be a huge fight over which set of grandparents would have the kid. Seeing as we don't want either set to, then we want to make sure there's going to be no fighting and that we know exactly what would happen before it has to.

I looked into the yearly policies but couldn't really get my head totally round it so when we make our wills we might think about seeing a financial advisor but for now we've just gone for a straight lump sum of £150k each. For both of us to be covered, that's only about £15 a month and then it means if one of us died, the other would have a replacement income or enough to buy a house outright. And if both of us died, there'd be enough to bring up our dd, and possible sibling because we're thinking about not leaving too big a gap, until they're 18 and leave a lump sum for uni or whatever.

OP posts:

cori · 29/05/2003 10:14

I ahve this problem too. Have been thinking a lot about it since reading emregency contact thread. My mother and DP parents are dead, my father is 'estranged' and we have no family in this country. We did not have christening because DP and i are different religions. The unoffical godparent is a close freind of mine who has said she would take responsibilty but she is a finacial night mare and is single.
The other option is my brother or husbands sister in Australia. Both of whom would be willing but of course they are on the other side of the world, which would mean massive upheavle for son in a time that would be emotionally traumatic.
I think when i write a will i should allocate my friend in the first instance and then over time consider options of family in Australia of coursetaking into consideration his wishes.
Does this sound like a potential solution?


emwi · 01/06/2003 20:41

Wobblymum I agree you should ask your sister - it's so very unlikely that you will both die that there is only a tiny chance they would be called upon to look after your children. If they say no, respect their decision and go back to the drawing board. Dh and I have just done our wills and had to decide what would happen to our estate if we and our dd died - that's good fun too!


soyabean · 01/06/2003 20:56

I agree that you should probably ask yr sister. We have not actually made wills yet, but we must. But we did last year decide to ask one of my brothers. I have three, two single, one recently married but not in this country.
Dhs family are all overseas, and dont speak English. Much as we know they would want to help should the worst happen, and indeed they would be upset not to be able to, but we feel it would be an impossible upheaval for the children (now aged 3, 8 and 11). My parents are divorced and we would want them to have involvement and they would be supportive but my Mum couldnt manage on her own; she is recently widowed) and though my Dad and stepmum would be great, for now, who knows how long they woudl be fit for? they live the opposite side of the country too. Also it wouyld be awful for my Mum if my stepmother was more involved than she.
So we asked one of my brothers, while knowing that if it were to happen it would necessitate a complete change of lifestyle for him. But then a death of a brother or sister, leaving children, would be a huge upheaval and upset anyway, and of course, its inlikely to come to that. He would have some very different attitudes to us, and quite possibly it wouldnt work, but it has to be better than the alternative. And he seemed genuinely pleased to be asked.
Sorry, I do waffle on sometimes.
What did you mean about yr sis being funny about legal stuff? Might she be afraid that they would have to do it, having agreed now? I dont think that is the case, just that the courts would have to make her the first port of call, rather than automatically taking the child into care.


Ghosty · 01/06/2003 21:06

This is really important isn't it? We made a will and basically sifted through our family and went with my brother and his wife who have two children and have a really nice way of bringing them up. My sister, at the time of doing the will, was single ... my other brother already has 5 children and although they are great parents they lead a rather bohemian lifestyle ... not one I'd like my DS to grow up in and DH's sister lives the high life in New York (fashion designer ... no kids ... not into them ....)
The only problem we have now is that we live in NZ and all my family are in the UK ... so my brother has promised that he would come and get DS if something happened to us as I can't bear the thought of DH's family bringing him up ...
I have also made DH promise that if something ever happened to me that he would take DS back to the UK so that he can be near my family ......


soyabean · 01/06/2003 21:10

Ghosty, my dh also agreed that if anything happened to me he would keep the kids here and not be tempted to go back to china. It feels mean to him in a way, but the culture shocjk would just be too huge.
It is important, and we really must write a will. talking to my brother was the forst step but we havent moved on since then.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?