Seeking Advice - Who Will Take Care of Our Kids If We Die?

Updated on March 02, 2008
E.S. asks from Mountain Home, AR
6 answers

My husband and I have realized that it is time for us to write our wills, particularly to address the topic of who will raise our child(ren) if something should happen to both of us. Our problem is really a wonderful one to have, but it is still a problem. Both of our families are fantastic! His parents and mine are both wonderful parents/grandparents who are financially stable and share our Christian values. I have also considered his brother and sister-in-law who already have 3 children and are foster parents. Here are the points I have already considered:
*My parents attend the same church that we attend and live in the school district we want our child(ren) to attend.
*His parents are nearing retirement and will have time to give her their undivided attention. His mother works in the school district and gets off early during the days, with summers off. His father's schedule is flexible so that our child(ren) would probably never have to go to daycare. They do live about 20 miles away from us and therefore live outside the school district we have chosen.
*His brother and sister-in-law have 3 kids who are fantastic children with wonderful parents. They adore our daughter and would also adore any other children we might eventually have. They live next door to his parents, but she has quit work to take care of foster children and they bring the children into our chosen school district for the higher quality education. They also share our values and goals for the children and are also in a position to take excellent care of our child(ren).

I know that all of these family members would gladly care for our daughter (and future children) and they would all give the very best care possible. They all love her very much, we are a very tight-knit family. Does anyone have any additional input that might help tip the scales in any direction? How have other parents made this decision? Your input is greatly appreciated!

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answers from St. Louis on

I have no other input just to say if it were me I would go with the brother and sister in law. They are younger and seem to have things in perspective with kids. Once the grandparents are retired they may want to travel and not be tied down. Just something to think about. If the brother and sister in law dont go to church well the parents that do can always make sure they attend church with them. Family will help out in any way possible under certain circumstances.

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answers from Kansas City on

Wow! What a great problem to have. We have always had the opposite...turning to life long friends instead of family because our family shares none of our morals and values. I think any of the above choices would be great. I wouldn't worry about school districts as you never know if the person might choose to stay in your home and sell theirs (if that option is available). I think I would suggest that no matter who you pick you write letters to all the families and leave them in your safe letting them all know how much they mean to you guys and how much you hated having to choose between such great families; but you had to. Saying that how much you also want them to all be involved in the child(ren)'s lives. How important family is and that you want them to all be around as loving and support members of the family. Hopefully this will never be needed; but it is always something important to have in place if needed. C.

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answers from Memphis on

We had a similar issue-lots of family love and adore our children, but we opted for our sister and brother-in-law. Mostly because of their age. We figured that by the time our children were in high school, our parents would be in their mid-70's--pretty old to be dealing with children. We also are sure that if something were to happen to us, the grandparents would spell our sister and brother-in-law on weekends, holidays, evenings if they need a break from all the kiddos. Our children would continue seeing all the family, and everyone would help pitch in to raise them.
We did talk to all the family and explained our reasoning, so everyone is on the same page. They all understand and are aware of our wishes if something were to happen to us.
Good luck with your decision, it's a tough one to even think about, but it's a good thing you are.

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answers from Springfield on

Hey E. (good name:)),
All I can say is to pray about and spend some time in the Word and see what God has to say. He knows who should do it. And which ever one gives you the most peace is the right one. I know that this is how I'm trying to handle my tough decissions. But, just look for whoever gives you the most peace. I'll pray for ya too:)!

I have two girls and a sweet black kitty well he's getting pretty old, a sweet white kitty, a great husband, and am a SAHM, too. Oh, and my name is E.!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lawrence on

You've got some good advise. I have the same issues and did my will. I opted for my sister, then brother because of the age thing BUT because they live further away, I also said that if my parents were willing (they are close) they could be guardians the remainder of the school year and live at my house if they wished during the transition to the house being sold (which because of life insurance would not be immediately necessary) I also made it a progressive list 1) sister or if she is unable or unwilling then 2) my brother, then 3) My parents if they are willing 4) if none of the above is available, I want my family and friends to meet and decide what they believe is best and a guardian appointed to give advise and a judge to decide, putting in a paragraph about my feelings about the important considerations and the people I have in mind. In there, I did say that if my certain named people felt they could do it (they could now, but may have health issues in another 10 years), that I would prefer them. So what if its wordy- its the document that will speak for you, and your words will be considered.
Also, it turns out that my brother is getting divorced. This is not a problem for me, since the guardian I listed is HIM, not he AND his wife. I would want my daughters to be with him, not be part of a possible future custody battle between my brother and his wife.
Keep in mind the parents of each of you will continue to be grandparents, and the dynamics of that relationship will therefore not need to shift if you leave this earth before they are 18. Reflect on how you can create as few "losses" for them as possible. The sibling is probably the best. As much as I trust some of my church friends I've known my whole life, who live in the right place, being with family is probably more important than anything.
GOOD FOR YOU for thinking of this so carefully. yone

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answers from Kansas City on

You are really blessed to have such a wonderful family!

I vote with the other ladies - for your brother and sister-in-law - and for the same reasons. Think about how old your parents will be when your daughter (and future kids) reach puberty and those difficult teen years. An older person isn't really the right person to get into the car at 10 o'clock at night and start cruising around the neighborhood looking for a teen-ager who didn't show up home when she was supposed to. And trust me, that's going to happen once or twice, no matter how perfectly you raise your kids!

The great thing is, your family is so close that, God forbid anything happen to you, you can rest assured that your kids will have the love and support of all these wonderful family members, no matter who you select to be their actual guardians.

1 mom found this helpful
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