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    Default Wills & Custody Q's

    Hi all,

    DH & I need to get around to doing our wills! Something that we're not sure of though is what the go is with arranging custody of our DS if something were to happen to both us.

    We would want my brother & his partner to have custody of DS, but DH has said that his parents would try to fight that (despite that being against our wishes, grrrrr!). They are well off and have more than enough money to fight for years.

    Does anyone know if there is a way you can make custody arrangements in a will 'airtight'? Or what the likelihood of the grandparents gaining custody would be if it's against the wishes of the will?

    We will go to a lawyer to get the wills drawn up, but I'm trying to go in with a bit of knowledge so we don't waste too much money on the advice side of things :/

    TIA

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    Unfortunately I don't think anything legal is ever completely airtight but you're doing the right thing.
    Your wishes are much more likely to be followed if they're written down in the first place.
    DF and I wrote wills just before DS was born. We listed several scenarios for the care of DS. E.g DS would be cared for by my sister. If that wasn't possible, DF's sister. If that wasn't possible, DF's brother.
    We also listed several scenarios for the division of our assets.
    Our wills cover just about everything.
    I doubt anyone would contest the care of DS but if they did, it would be clearly written what we wanted.
    Our assets are a different matter due to a crazy ex of DF.

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    Even if its written in your wills it can still be contested especially when it comes to children.
    It would then be up to the court to make a ruling, they would of course take your wishes into account but it wouldn't be guaranteed

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    Everything can be contested, unfortunately.
    But it is good to have your wishes written down and even known to people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DT75 View Post
    Everything can be contested, unfortunately.
    But it is good to have your wishes written down and even known to people.
    This is a really good point!
    Making your wishes known is important. Especially the people you want to care for your kids, in case they say no! But also anyone you think might cause grief.
    In reality most people don't need to worry about this happening to them.

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    Thanks everyone, I thought that would be the case. We have made our wishes known to both of our families. We explained to DH's parents that we weren't choosing them as they both have health issues which mean they can't be active anymore, and that we want DS to be able to grow up with 'parents' that can play ball, go to the beach, take him camping, etc. It was the nicest way to put it, without going into the bigger reasons.

    I'll make sure we account for a number of scenarios though. Thanks for that tip!

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    Default Wills & Custody Q's

    Has your DH spoken to his parents about this? Maybe just casually say you're getting your wills done and your brother is going to be listed for custody in that case.

    Don't forget that they're only going to get older and might not actually want full time care if something happens. My parents and DH's parents love DS but they're not really in the position to take on the responsibility of full time care if something happens to us. DH's parents are wealthy as well and they love taking holidays! We've spoken to DS's godparents (DH's cousin and her husband) and they've agreed to take on care if, heaven forbid, anything were to happen. They wouldn't stop him from seeing his grandparents and I can't see any of the grandparents actually contesting it and wanting full time custody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apple iPhart6 View Post
    Has your DH spoken to his parents about this? Maybe just casually say you're getting your wills done and your brother is going to be listed for custody in that case.

    Don't forget that they're only going to get older and might not actually want full time care if something happens. My parents and DH's parents love DS but they're not really in the position to take on the responsibility of full time care if something happens to us. DH's parents are wealthy as well and they love taking holidays! We've spoken to DS's godparents (DH's cousin and her husband) and they've agreed to take on care if, heaven forbid, anything were to happen. They wouldn't stop him from seeing his grandparents and I can't see any of the grandparents actually contesting it and wanting full time custody.
    Yeah DH spoke to his parents and explained the reasons for our choices... But came away with a vague impression that they'd probably try to go for custody anyway.

    My brother would be happy to allow them visitation, but DS only sees them once every couple of months as it is (they live a 2 hour drive away and DS doesn't travel well).

    Hopefully I'm worrying over nothing and we'll never need the wills! But I just want something down to make sure DS is raised the way we want and gets the best in life.

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    Default Your lawyer will probably tell you this...

    Unfortunatey no will is iron clad, but a court will consider your wishes if it gets that far.

    Bear in mind it needs to be dealt with identically on both wills as if you both die at same time and you both will your possessions to each other then the older person is presumed to have survived longer and that will is done and the younger is disregarded so that your joint posessions aren't dealt with in tw seperate estates. Eg you and hubby need to agree or need to lock in mutual wills. You lawyer will explain this further.

    to avoid court there are some things that you can do:-

    have the conversation with the inlaws about what your decision is and why you made it. Eg they are getting on in years and you wanted them not to worry about raising boisterous children. You thought your sister was more equipped because, she has kids same age as yours, she has closer relationship with them etc. have a Honest conversation with them about it and assess their reaction.

    make sure the person you are electing to be guardians of your children are happy with accepting that role. Also discuss your concerns with in laws with the future guardians so they know before they accept. If they say yes, make sure they have a certified photocopy of both wills. It will makes their life easier to have it handy, eg if something happens whilst kids are at school they take will to school to collect the kids and take them.

    if in laws are truely being difficult you can add a extra page to your will which explains why you made the decision, rather than just electing, say I am electing because of these reasons... Then go into detailed reasons, including that you considered all other family members and decided your choice wasnt eg most appropriate. the only thing is if there is a change then you will need to update the reasons. Eg I want sister becase she lives close and in school district won't work if she's moved out of area at the time of your demise. Bear in mind that if you put someone's name in your will and you die, then they are entitled to see it. So it may be better not mentioning grandparents and just doing pros of the guardian you chose.

    slightly off topic but most people seem to not realise that they can elect a SEPERATE person to manage the finances than raise the kids. Eg if the person you want as guardian is crap with money you can actually hand finances to a more financially minded person and the guardian just lets them know when school fees need to be paid or hand over receipts for medical bills/school supplies or whatever. This could be your trade off, eg ask grandparents to manage the finances (ask them to make sure the kiddies go to good schools etc) whilst leaving the day to day hand raising of kiddos up to someone else.

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    Thanks so much for that info @FaithfulMum!


 

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