Jump to content

Guardianship of kids if you pass away - how do you set it up

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Sabine75

Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:30 AM


Doing the will and all that stuff at the moment - realised the other day we hadnt done one for years  - but if we both pass away how do we ensure our kids are raised by the people we want them to be raised eg  - how do you write this is a will etc.  how does it become legal or will the state determine what they deem best fit?

Dont really want to speak to people before hand as it may upset others - so what have you done?  What an awful topic and hopefully totally unessecary.

many thanks

#2 MrsLexiK

Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:31 AM

You put it in your will but you need to know your will is only your wishes. If someone wants to contest the guardianship they can.

#3 lafonda

Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:40 AM

What do you do if there's no one you'd want to raise your child?

#4 BeakyHoneyButt

Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:43 AM

Wow, it never occurred to me that if i said i want xxx and xxx to have my children, that it was not a solid thing.

This is also something DH and i need to do. I Can't imagine discussing it with my family. I always fondly thought that i wouldn't  be here to see the sparks fly over who we chose to care for the children.

Edited by foxgirls, 05 January 2013 - 07:44 AM.

#5 Dionysus

Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:53 AM

We currently have my folks listed as preferred guardians.

We also have something in there that they have access to our estate (I've no idea, DH does all that stuff) so they can afford to raise our child.

We did this 3 years ago when DD was born.  Mum and Dad are now 60 and 62, but still in excellent health.  We will re-write soon though and list my brother and his wife.

We are fully aware that these are just are preferences.  MIL could have a case, I guess, if she wanted to contest against my parents - it could be a stand-off  LOL.  DH's sister wouldn't have a case against my brother.

My parents certainly know that they are currently listed as preferred guardians.  How could you not discuss it with the people you are going to nominate?

Iafonda - just don't die!   wink.gif

#6 Dionysus

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:03 AM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 05/01/2013, 08:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It will also help if your children have a solid relationship with the people you choose. They are unlikely to be made to move far from your family home so choosing people interstate or overseas lessens the likelihood of your wishes being fulfilled.

Yep, we live in the same suburb as my mum and dad and they look after DD 2 days per week, have picked her up from childcare, and take her to playgroup...
We live a couple suburbs away from my brother and regularly socialise with him and his family and they have babysat for us, and us for them

DH's family, on the other hand, live an hour away and we see them maybe only once every couple of months,

All those things would be considered, I imagine, when the courts (or whoever) decide who gets her

#7 MarigoldMadge

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

We have nominated my brother to be Maddy's guardian - interestingly, the solicitor who did our will advised against naming his wife in the will, which is something I would have done if I wrote it myself.

We nominated the same brother and my DH's sister to be joint financial trustees, to involve his side, and help my brother.

Really recommend seeing a solicitor - the whole process cost about $250, really thorough, etc. I have a family history of bad blood over wills/lack of wills, and wanted something that was clear, non-ambiguous, and in Maddy's best interests.

Also covered the scenerio of what happens if all three of us are killed - without a will, and assuming we all die instantly, everything we own would end up in my family as I'm the younger, and therefore assumed to have died last etc. We wrote that in this case, all assets would be pooled, split 50% to be distributed equally to his siblings and 50% to my siblings (but then you also have to cover that if a sibling is also dead, their share goes to their descendants...)  

Really, see a solicitor!

I also spoke to my parents about our guardian choice, and also asked my brother before nominating him, and to his credit, he took about a week to discuss it with his wife, they asked me questions about money, expectations re education, lifestyle, access to my DH's family etc, before they agreed.

#8 MrsLexiK

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

We've discussed two people (both our sisters) in what would be a joint thing and will discuss with them once bubba is here. I would feel horrible for leaving someone with all the "burden" so this way it can be spread over the people. At present my sister is not in a position to care for a child (especially one she takes on guardianship of) due to basically her age, but having said that in 10 years time my SIL's kids would all be totally grown and I know she would like to start travelling then - she couldn't really do that with my 9 yr old.

Our families get along ok so we feel this will probably work well and this child will be able to live with whoever is best at that time.

#9 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

My sister assumed her children's godparents would be their legal guardians if she and her DH died.  huh.gif  Not sure why she thought that any member of her family wouldn't fight tooth and nail to keep those children with us, if the worst happened.

We've specified who we would like in our will, and stated why. But they're also the 'logical' choice in any event.

#10 PubertyBlues

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:36 AM

Our situation is a little different in that the kids are DH's from his first marriage but he is the primary custodian and has been for many years. Appreciating that these things could be contested, we do have it outlined in our will that in the event of his death, the children would remain living with me and that the relationship that we currently facilitate with their Mum and maternal extended family would continue.

We have discussed this with their Mum and she (in theory of course!) agrees. I also have legal guardianship over the kids on a day to day basis and make almost all of the decisions regarding their long term care in conjunction with DH, running those decisions past their Mum as and when appropriate.

DH's life insurance is slightly more than the norm to allow for any potential future expenses that could occur from me having to contest any other person's claim for guardianship of the kids.

In any event, the kids are teens now, and their expressed wish is that they would remain living with me as primary carer in the event of the death of DH or our divorce, so whilst we don't see either of those scenarios occurring between now and them reaching the age of majority, it is helpful that the have made those wishes known to their parents.

#11 Phascogale

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

What you need to do is speak to the people you want to look after your kids.  It really does help if they have a solid relationship with them (and it's likely they would if you want them to look after your kids).  Then if anything happens to you both then they need to take the kids there and then.

It normally takes time before a will is executed (not that you can 'will' kids but can let your intentions be known through your will).  And it can be months or longer.  If the kids are with a particular person then if everything is going okay then the kids normally stay with them because no one wants to uproot them again.

It can help if the kids are older and know what you have planned that they can say what they want ie if MIL wants to take them but you want your brother then the kids can say that they are going to their uncles and not with MIL - especially if they have a great relationship with their uncle and want to go there.

We also have life insurance so the cost of raising the kids is less of a burden for whoever takes them.  These things are all written into the will as in how much the people looking after them can use to facilitate having the kids in their care ie may need a new car to transport everybody or the house may need to be extended or need to buy a new house.

And this thread is timely.  It's something we need to consider again.  We've moved several hours from where we used to live so if we died tomorrow they'd likely go to the person we wanted them to go to (ie kids happy to move back) but that's going to be less of the case as they get more settled here.  There are some friends in mind.  Family aren't suitable.  My family can't take them (and they wouldn't go).  My husband's parents don't really want to look after little kids again (we don't want the kids to feel like a burden), plus they are getting older.  They are very close to 80 but surprisingly spritely for their age.

Edited by Phascogale, 05 January 2013 - 08:40 AM.

#12 Isolabella

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

Our only family within state is MIL who is in her 80's and struggles with a night with all three kids.

My family all live interstate or overseas.

My brother and SIL (overseas - I do believe they plan to return in three year time, but still return would be interstate) are our preferrred guardians. Everyone has been spoken with and agrees.

Kids have a great relationship with their os cousins and Facebook and Skype are great to keep in contact. Lots of travel too helps with the connection.

Edited by lsolaBella, 05 January 2013 - 08:56 AM.

#13 anasam

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

My understanding is that a Guardian is a person who is responsible for making important decisions on behalf of the child, they don't necessarily have to be the one who has custody. So for example if you make your MIL guardian she can then decide that is in the best interest of the child to live with XYZ relative. That is why it is important to discuss your wishes with your relatives. Also I agree with PP, for something this important it is best to speak to a solicitor.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Essential Baby & Toddler Show Brisbane (4-6 March). Register online now to save $20!

Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.


What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.

Mum's desperate plea as whooping cough alert issued

A desperate mother has shared a heart-breaking video of her baby struggling to cope with a coughing fit caused by pertussis.

Coffee could help you live longer

New US research found people who report drinking three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The joy and dread of playdates

To live vicariously through your child is to rediscover anxieties you thought dead and buried.

Sick baby could die without scarce special formula, mum says

Lizzie Cann is down to her last three tins of a special formula in short supply.

Adorable toddler's strop foiled by squeaky shoes

We're probably all familiar with the pouty bottom lip and tightly crossed arms of a tot mid-strop.

More sex during World Cup created more baby boys

More sex during South Africa's World Cup meant a disproportionately high number of boys were born nine months later, a new study has found.

ABC Shop perfect for Christmas gifts

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Do fitness challenges really work?

Fitness challenges aren't new. There's Michelle Bridges 12WBT and a bunch of other programs if you really want to lose weight.

What are pregnant women Googling?

Pregnancy is a huge change for any woman, so it's natural we'll have questions - and turn to Google to ask them.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.