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How did you pick guardians??

  1. Eko

    nectarine / 2148 posts

    We chose DHs cousin. They have three older girls (10 & 8) and similar parenting style to us. They do not have the finances so we made sure to have a good life insurance plan. Besides being good parents, the main reason we chose them is because I wanted to be sure that my kids maintained relationships with everyone in the family. My parents are divorced and do not like each other. Any person I would consider to be a guardian I knew would make it difficult for other family to see them.

  2. jennlin821

    kiwi / 617 posts

    Following on this thread, DD is 14mo old and we haven't really settled on it.

    My question is did you discuss this with the people that you chose as guardians? I think my mom assumes she would be the default guardian if anything would happen - and my parents are a great option, but I also have a SIL with kids of similar age, so that would be a great option too.
    I wouldn't want my SIL/family to be surprised and I wouldn't want my mom to be disappointed at 'the reading of the will' so to speak. But I also don't really want to have a conversation and open it up to discussion within the family.

    So what did everyone else do?

  3. catgirl

    nectarine / 2018 posts

    @jennlin821: we absolutely discussed with our top choice - it didn't seem fair to pick someone without asking. It's a huge thing. We wanted to make sure they knew why we were picking them, how we hoped they would handle the situation, how our finances were set up, etc.

    We have not discussed with the all of people we did not choose. I understand the fear of someone being disappointed in the future but I would avoid unnecessary drama in the present.

  4. Eko

    nectarine / 2148 posts

    @jennlin821: I asked the people we chose as guardians. The only person we told who we picked was my MIL, who I knew would understand. I think most people in my family will not understand my decision and I do not want to create drama for what is likely a non issue.

  5. Purpledaisy

    nectarine / 2973 posts

    We picked my dad. He's young enough (48 years old), I trust him, and he's at a place in life to be able to do it and want to do it. He loves the kids and has a close relationship with them.

    Our second choice is DH's brother with my grandma having control over our finances and assets. He's divorced and has one child the same age as our oldest. I really would not want the kids going to him as he's going through an emotionally hard time in his life and I do not necessarily like his parenting style. However, I trust him and know that he would take good care of the kids.

    Before our first was born, we originally chose DH's brother and his (now ex) wife. It made sense because they were in the same stage of life and we thought it would be easiest on them to take in another child. BUT once we saw them become parents we disagree with a lot of their parenting style and they don't seem very happy to be parents in general. I don't want my kids feeling like a burden.

  6. Purpledaisy

    nectarine / 2973 posts

    @jennlin821: we definitely discussed our guardianship choices. I asked my dad because I wanted to make sure that he would be up to the huge life style change it would be for him. We told DH's brother because we wanted to make sure he would want to do it and make sure that he knew that finances would be covered.

  7. lady baltimore

    persimmon / 1196 posts

    We picked the people who will best be able to keep LO's life as routine as possible. They are in her life nearly daily now, know her routines, and are the people she is most comfortable with, next to DH and me. They also have the finances and flexibility to be able to travel with LO so that she can stay in contact with the other side of her family. These are the factors we considered, and we are lucky that they all led us to one set of guardians.

    As others have said, we will re-evaluate in a few years and make sure that our decision holds.

  8. cake2017

    persimmon / 1082 posts

    Who is the best person to draft the will and guardianship? Also, does that include finances, wishes for the child? I’m sorry for the questions. DH and I need to do this asap... I just don’t know where to start.

  9. Ajsmommy

    pomegranate / 3355 posts

    @cake2017: my work offers an attorney to do all of it. We plan to set up a meeting to go over everything and get it all worked out. I am sure there will be many more questions to come up as we do it, that is why we are trying to go in with some idea of what we want to do. we are also hopeful that the attorney will give some direction and advice if needed... as we go

  10. JCCovi

    kiwi / 705 posts

    We chose my parents as guardians and my brother and his wife as secondary and we spoke to them about it. We also have a kind of complicated algorithm in there about how that assumes they are a couple and what happens if they have split or one has pasted away. So it bypasses my parents if they are not a couple. We also were advised to have 3 options and we put my Aunt and Uncle as the third but didn’t talk to them about it, we figured the chance is so minuscule. Our plan is to reevaluate every few years.

    We think our assets plus life insurance would be enough to support the kids through college and keep their guardians comfortable. We’ll have to re-evaluate that periodically as well.

  11. MrsBucky

    kiwi / 656 posts

    @Ajsmommy: our attorney (found through my works legal benefit) had a workbook he sent us before hand, and then we met, went through it and he raised some options around certain things, explained the pros and cons, and let us choose. Some choices cost more (more paperwork, more complicated legal stuff, etc) and he shared that reality with us as well to take into account when choosing. Then we met again to review the document once it was completed and sign it. Then we had some homework afterwords to ensure that all our assets were assigned to our living trust, so they would skip probate in the event of our death.

  12. Ajsmommy

    pomegranate / 3355 posts

    So after 8 months tomorrow is our appt with our atty to set this stuff in stone. I had to come back and read through everyone's responses to help me decide on this whole guardianship deal. It's still feeling too hard... but I think i will agree to go with my IL's as first option, maybe my mom as second and one of DH's siblings as 3rd option for now.

    I'm hoping that maybe in the future we will be able to switch it to family friends or maybe one of DH's sisters will get married and have kids.

    Now the hard part will be telling my mom she's not the #1... any suggestions on that? Maybe i better start a new post

  13. Foodnerd81

    wonderful cherry / 21504 posts

    @Ajsmommy: so... I wouldn’t tell your mom. What’s the point? You probably aren’t going to die young. If you had some terrible illness that would be different but for now I just would tell the actual guardians and not mention it to anyone else.

    We had a really hard time choosing too- and that’s one of the reasons we didn’t put together a will until this year, and I have a 6 year old! We actually switched who i would have said a couple years ago. And I don’t feel great about our guardians because no one would be as good as us of course! So just going to do my best to stay alive.

  14. LadyDi

    persimmon / 1380 posts

    Same as @Foodnerd81: I wouldn’t tell your mom. My parents are #2 in our will and they don’t know that. DH’s parents would be our kids’ guardian. Maybe not the most mature thing but it was a conversation I really didn’t want to have with my parents.

  15. bhbee

    cantaloupe / 6085 posts

    @LadyDi: @Foodnerd81: same ... my mom is first and we did not discuss it with my ILs.

  16. SweetCaroline

    pear / 1718 posts

    @Ajsmommy: we both have siblings but we chose family friends who have kids and whose values align very closely to ours. We told both sets of parents but decided it was not necessary to tell our siblings. Ideally we will write a letter to save with our will, explaining our choice and also our desire for our children to maintain a relationship with our siblings and parents.

    If it were me, i would tell my mom. If something ever did happen, I wouldn't want her to be surprised and have to grief that part too. I would want her to already know so that she is better equipped to support my children in their grief. Everyone is different, I like to overprepare to ease my anxiety

  17. gotkimchi

    nectarine / 2400 posts

    @Foodnerd81: @LadyDi: I agree! I was also going to say i just wouldn’t tell.

  18. winter_wonder

    persimmon / 1479 posts

    Emotional stability over financial stability for us. We recently switched the guardians.

    I think it's important to ask/tell the guardians if possible, to make sure they are willing/ok with decision.

  19. Purpledaisy

    nectarine / 2973 posts

    @Ajsmommy: I wouldn’t tell her either. We kicked off my brother in law from being our secondary guardian and we haven’t told him.

    I would write her a letter explaining your choice that would be given to her in the unlikely chance that something does happen. That way she’s not left with questioning your choice forever.

  20. skiierchck99

    kiwi / 518 posts

    Our attorney actually advised us not to say anything to anyone about guardianship because it can start conflict. He basically said if you’re picking someone you feel like you would have to ask, it’s the wrong person. We have my brother because our insurance would provide for them financially and he is responsible and has a strong bond with her - and he should be expected to live long enough to see her to adulthood, which is not something I can say I necessarily expect for parents. Like others, we also plan to evaluate at least every 5 years.

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