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Mothering › Groups › September 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › Legal aspects of having a child - Making a will, designating a 'just in case' guardian etc.

Legal aspects of having a child - Making a will, designating a 'just in case' guardian etc.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Has anyone done this? 

I'm trying to get our legal documents in order and would love to hear how other people have handled this.

So far I think that DH and I will both need wills, to check our life insurance policies, and to decide on the legal guardian(s) that our child would live with if something were to happen to us.  Am I forgetting anything? 

How did you decide who your children would go to?  We're torn between my parents and my SIL for various reasons.  DH's parents are already well into their 70's so that kind of rules them out, but otherwise they would have been great 'candidates' :) My parents would definitely think that they're first in line, so if we were to choose SIL we would need to break the news to them, any ideas for this?  If we don't mention it, they will definitely ask about it. 

 

Does your child's potential guardian match up with who you chose to be your their godparent/s (if you decided to go the godparent route)?

post #2 of 3
You might want a lot more life insurance than you currently have -- providing for children left behind (especially if you both die at the same time) is a different prospect than providing for just a spouse. We increased what we had before (when the big consideration was just the mortgage & DH's law school loans) by $100,000 and then another $100,000 with this one -- and got a new 20-year term.

You might also think about a trust, depending on how much you'll be leaving (with house, life insurance, etc). We have it where the kids each get the balance of the money (you know, minus what it took to raise them, which goes to their guardian) when they turn 18. It's easy to put stipulations on that, if you want -- make it a different age, or contingent upon graduating college, or whatever you think -- we didn't want to, but a lot of people do.

Our insurance agent really encouraged us to name separate guardianship and financial powers of attorney, but I didn't want to deal with it. I don't think my mom is going to steal money from her grandchildren -- it's totally okay with both DH and me if she decides what and how to use the money until they turn 18. You can set it up to where the guardian would get a monthly allowance, however.
post #3 of 3

crystal_buffalo  has a lot of good advice, all of which we heard from our atty. Unfortunately, we have been unable to decide on a guardian so we've never finished up the legal documents. Guardianship is so difficult to decide. Ours is an issue because DH's family is Catholic, but we are not, and only one of his brothers is not (there are no guardian options in my family). And the brother who is not would not be our first choice for our kids for a variety of reasons. So here we sit. We do plan to do a trust. At least in our state, it makes things go more smoothly with the estate. We also plan to have separate physical and financial guardians.

 

Life insurance--we need to finalize this, but we took into account what it would cost for DH to continue working and me to continue staying at home if one or the other of us were to die. We wanted our financial situation to be relatively stable with little change to our life should that happen. That resulted in rather large policies for both of us, but for term insurance, it's really not that expensive at all. Kind of a pain with all the medical testing though. Unfortunately, our broker is between jobs right now, so we are on hold yet again.

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