We are planning to ask Mr. Moose’s sister, J, to become the legal guardian of Kremit (and her future siblings) in case anything were to happen to both of us. We have many reasons for this, which I plan to list, but I also have my concerns, as well. We plan to ask (and actually have already) my father to become the financial guardian for the inheritance for the baby, deciding to spread the responsibility around on both sides of the family (and he’s EXCELLENT with money, so it’s incredibly logical). We got that idea from my co-worker, Fran, who has an only child who stands to inherit quite a bit of change if something were to happen to Fran and her husband. Fran’s sister is the physical guardian and her husband’s sister is the financial trustee. That way no one has too much power, you know?
We won’t be leaving that much behind (at least at this point), but we both have fairly substantial life-insurance policies now (which we got when we found out I was pregnant, just for this purpose). To us, our actions make a lot of sense. (To my mother, not so much. She was okay with my dad being trustee – I think even she knows that he is WAY better w/ money than she is, though I doubt she’d admit that formally. She had quite the objection when I informed her that we would be asking one of the girls to be the physical guardian of the baby should both Mr. Moose and I die. I know she’d do it in a heartbeat, but she really has no idea where she and her husband will be in the next 18+ years either health-wise or emotionally, etc. I know they would always love my child to the best of their ability, but logically… it makes sense to choose someone from our generation.)
So, J has been our choice, though we haven’t yet discussed it with her. We’d like to as soon as possible, so we can then tell his other sisters face-to-face at Thanksgiving what our choice is.
So our reasons for choosing J are logical, practical ones. 1)
At this point, she is the most stable sister who lives here. Mr. Moose’s little sister, LP, also lives here, but is still in school (college) and no one really knows what her future will entail. Where will she get a job? Will she get married (she hasn’t ever seriously dated someone to our knowledge), etc. His older sister, LB, is married and expecting her own child, but she lives in North Carolina with the stated fact of “no intention to ever move to Florida” coming from my BIL. 1b) We would prefer for Kremit to not have to move away if something were to happen to us. 1c) We would like for her to be able to be around both sides of the family and since my family isn’t likely to move away too far, this is the location we would prefer to have the guardian in. 2) J is responsible – she is a teacher with strong values, and while I cannot say that she would raise our daughter the way we would (she is significantly more conservative than either Mr. Moose or I) I know that her guidance would be stable, loving and very consistent with the way they were brought up as children (J seems to be the most like her mother in that department, with LB a close 2nd). 3) Though she might not raise our daughter exactly the way we would, she has always been incredibly maternal and we know that she would be an excellent mother. (LP, for example, is going to be a great Aunt, but since she claims she never wants children… why would we ask her to be saddled with ours?)
My concerns are that she is single, and while I think she would ultimately like to get married, she has no immediate prospects and I don’t know what her future husband might say to this commitment. I’m sure that a man who wouldn’t want to care for her (theoretically) dead-brother’s children likely wouldn’t pass muster with her, but you never know what their situation would be looking forward to an unknown future. I am also saddened that we don’t have an option for which I could confidently say “this person will raise my child the way I would,” but I have every confidence that J would do an excellent job.
We discussed the possibility of asking my sister to be the guardian, but with she and her family in another country, I get concerned about the logistics. Plus, the she’s-got-4-kids (almost)-already issue, and we chose to ask J first.
We were planning to get with her one-on-one over lunch today after church, but Mr. Moose has come down with a severe cold and we had to stay home. We want to make sure we talk to her and she is able to think about it for a bit before she has to make a decision and we’d like to talk to his other sisters over Thanksgiving (likely, the last time we’ll see LB before each of our children is born and we think it will be better coming from us face-to-face than via phone).
What are your plans for your child's future in a situation where you are no longer around to handle it?