28 answers

I Am an Ill Single Mother of a 6 Year Old... What Happens to My Son When I Die?

I want my mother and my Aunt to be my sons Guardian in the event of my passing. I have cancer and other compounded problems. I have no idea what to do. His father abandoned me when i was 2 months pregnant and i have not seen or heard from him since. What are my options? My son can not just go into a foster home when i have family who is able and willing to take care of him. i want to make sure that my son is secure with my family, but don't know what i need to get them guardianship. His father is not on the birth certificate or anything. This is very complicated, but what do i do. Please help!!! I need to know what to do next and i am running out of time. Thank you

What can I do next?

More Answers

You need to contact an attorney and have a will drawn up. In the will state that your mom or your aunt (chose 1) is to be the legall guidian of your son in the event of your passing. You will also want to leave property and cash to that person to help finacially with raising your son. I am sorry that you are having to go through such thoughts- I can't imagine that pain. But remember that God makes miracles happen if yu ask and believe.
God bless you and your son.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't have any advice. I just want you to know I am praying for you.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry to read your post :( My husband and I just got our living wills done about 2 weeks ago. We too thought who would get our kids if something happened. My parents are still alive but we chose my brother and sister in law. However, even if my brother and his wife divorce, my brother will still get the kids if something happens. We also did our last will. Please get this done soon. Hopefully all will go well and you will beat cancer and be around for your son.

2 moms found this helpful

S. - I'm SO sorry for this predicament that you are in! You must be distraught.

Is it possible for you to call the Broward County Bar Association and see if they have a lawyer referral service? Here is a link: http://www.browardbar.org/index.php (look under "Public Resources"). Many times attorneys on their roster will do initial consultations for a very inexpensive rate. Perhaps you could get some ideas and further guidance on how to legally protect your child in the event of your passing (which hopefully won't happen).

Good luck - I am praying for you.

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My heart goes out to you, I can only imagine what you must be going through. I believe that because of your condition, you can have your mother and aunt become his legal guardians even while you are still alive. I suggest you consult an attorney, or even your local department of childrens services should be able to answer your questions and advise you in this regard. Good luck to you, and remember that there is no earthly sorrow or pain that God cannot heal, and prayer really does change things.

2 moms found this helpful

I am very sorry for your situation but I know the answer to this one as I did it myself due to my daughter's health problems and her father's inability to care for her in the even of my death or incapacitation. Contact an attorney or a legal assistant and have them draw up a form establishing your mother or aunt as your child's "pre need guardian". It is a very simple piece of paper and just states that your wishes are to have them be the guardian of your child in the event of your death. It gets notarized and you just have them hold on to it until it is needed. When it is necessary all they need to do is take it to the courts and show that they were named as guardian of your child and unless the father shows up and tries to fight it (he'd have to have a pretty good attorney at this point) the courts will confirm it and draw up the legal documents. Good luck and God Bless.

2 moms found this helpful

I am so sorry that you are going through this, but this is what I know...In the event that a mother passes away, the child(ren) automatically go to the next of kin. If the father were on the birth certificate and involved in his life, the child would go to the father. But, in your situation, it seems the next of kin would be your Mother. If you do want both, your Mom and Aunt to be guardian then you should indicate that in a will. I had gone to a lawyer to have my will drawn up and she explained it to me that way. I think I paid 250.00. I have no family and needed to appoint a friend so I wanted advice and a to have a professional do it. Your son will not go into foster care, so don't worry about that. The state does what is easy and best for the child. If your Mom and aunt are there to accept your son, then it will not be complicated. To make yourself feel better, write a will, even a do-it-yourself one will work. God Bless you and your family.

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This is actually very simple...:) Write a will! You do not need a lawyer even to do this. There are a lot of do-it-yourself wills out there and they are quite easy to do. You will need two witnesses that are not benefactors of the will--and to have it made official it must be notarized..(easy--banks do this for about $10)

Since there will be no custody battles with the father, you just appoint whom will have guardianship...This does not have to be complicated.

Or you can go down to legal aide if money is an issue and see if a paralegal would write one up for you. You do not need a lawyer for this! A paralegal can write this up and for a quarter of the cost...:)

1 mom found this helpful

Look, you need a lawyer, period, find some way to get one-You need to do this for your son.

I WOULD NOT recommend writing your own will, This isn't a normal situation, you not marrying your son's father makes it complicated. GET AN ATTORNEY.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

sorry to hear about your illness. Your problem is not a complicated one. All you need to do is get a lawyer in family law, to make sure that all your papers are in order before you go. Make sure your will is made and make sure custodianship for your child is legally arranged. It may set you back some money, but will be worth every penny for your peace of mind.

I wish you the best,


1 mom found this helpful

Please please see an attorney right away.
God bless, k

1 mom found this helpful

You definitely want to do a Will. IT can be a simple one stating what your wishes are.

I am sorry that you are going through this. I will pray that God would touch you and that His will be done for you!



1 mom found this helpful

may god be with you S..

1 mom found this helpful

Yup, just write a will (if you write it yourself, it needs to be handwritten and signed and notarized, I believe...in Tx that is. Or find a lawyer to help you write one. In it, you can name the guardians of your son. I did so with mine in the event myself or my husband dies.

1 mom found this helpful

Please talk with a lawyer. Even though the father is not on the birth certificate, you should make sure that your state doesn't have some crazy laws regarding custody and parental rights. As another poster noted, there may be organizations that can help you find a lawyer or that even can provide free service.

I am so sorry about your illness and prognosis. Your son is lucky that you are thinking ahead about what best to do for him.

1 mom found this helpful

Talk to a lawyer. It only cost a couple hundred and it is worth the money. Make a will. Make sure your Aunt and mother know that you have the will as well. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. You are in my prayers.

1 mom found this helpful

You will need to consult with an attorney to see what measures to take to ensure that the relatives you would wish to gain custody of the child are able to do so without any problem. Based on the situation you describe I don't think it would be difficult - but it would be good to create legal papers that would secure the custody issue.

That being said you may want to read about dramatically different approaches to health than ordinary doctors are able to offer.
You can begin by reading Instinct Based Medicine by Dr. Leonard Coldwell (you can find it for free to read online at Google books) Cancer and virtually any disease is curable when we learn to clear stress from our mind and body and let our spirit's energy flow freely, giving us the power to heal and recuperate ourselves with proper natural noursihment. German New Medicine (used in Metamedicine and Biodecoding) and Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life also show us how the mind/psyche are key to creating illness or health, so we have the power to heal ourselves once we free ourselves from the dysfunctional programming of mainstream medicine.

1 mom found this helpful

You need to consult an attorney and DO IT SOON. DO NOT just sit on this because you may have missing components to what you need. If you let this go, he WILL more than likely be placed in the foster system till it's all figured out. Do you have a will? You need to state that in your will.

1 mom found this helpful


I am so sorry to hear about your situation.

You need to compile a living will, health care surrogate and traditional will. These will ensure your family can make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to. These will also designate who would care for your child. There are websites that will guide you through the documents for a nominal fee. I would also recommend speaking with an attorney to advise you in the right path to take. Most attorney's will offer a complimentary consult session that you will probably be able to have all of your questions answered in.

Another option if you are in and out of the hospital would be to ask for case management to assist you in making these documents, they are usually able to complete them for you and have them notarized. I wish the best for you and your family.

You are in my thoughts and prayers,


I am sorry about your situation, however you need to contact a Family Law Attorney and they should be able to give you some information over the phone without a consultation that they charge for. Good Luck.

You MUST see as lawyer and get the necessary paperwork done in order to have the future for your child that you want.

Sit down with an attorney, and draw up a living will, advanced directives, medical power of attorney, financial power of attorney, appoint legal guardians, executors and beneficiaries of your estate/assets. Good luck!

First let me so I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this, I know it must be scary. I have 2 family members, who if something happened to them would be in the same situation. In family law, if the father were to find out if something happens to you he could come in and do a paternity test and get custody. Doesn't matter if he hasn't been in the picture or not these years. However, I do want to say that when I worked in Family Law I saw a statute that alluded to parental rights being terminated if the father was not on the birth certificate and it had been a certain amount of years of never seeing the child. I tried looking but couldn't find anything. Anyway, you can talk to a family attorney (check for free consultation). But if you do need to terminate parental rights and are indigent it's easy to terminate the rights of the father. You should just need to post it in the papers for 4 weeks (used to be) and if no response than all rights terminated and you should be able to file all the paperwork for a living will, traditional will, etc. and also file guardianship for you child. There is a florida state statute website that you can look at also to see what would need to be done.

Sorry to hear about this. I'll be praying for you! Looks like you got lots of good advice!

I had a friend who gave her mother sole custody of her child when she had a number of complex brain surgeries. The father of her baby was not on the birth certificate at all. They went down to the courthouse in the family law divison and got all of the paperwork. I am so sorry to hear about your situation. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Prepare a power of attorney & trust for your son. My hubby & I are in the process of having to attend to these very issues for only child that's autistic. My prayers are with you.

You need to contact a lawyer to write up a will giving guardianship of your son to relatives. If you cannot afford one, ask your mother if she can help.

Make sure you speak with an attorney for legal advice. Most likely as long as you have a will in place and it is well prepared so there would be no problem. Since the father has not been in the picture, I do not believe the family courts would even consider the paternal rights of the father. Although, you never know. More than likely the family courts would automatically place your child with the most suitable interest of the child in mind. if your child has an established bond wth either sister or mom they would be looked at first.

However, if your child as a bond (meaning lived with for an extended period of time) like a boyfriend as a dad figure he may in some states have rights too.

If, your intent is to just make sure Dad can't get child when you pass, you need to prepare all of that now. Depending on the current status of their relationship will make a difference as will the status of mom or sister's relationship. They will need to pass home study, etc.

Sorry, this is horrible news. May God bless and keep you and yours in his arms.

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