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Legal Guardians ~ What would you do?


Our baby is 3.5 months old. We're not getting her christened but we are having a party for her in a couple of weeks which has made me think about agreeing and asking someone to be her legal guardians.

I've been agonising about it since before she was born. The obvious answer is my sister and her husband. But both DH and I find it very difficult to ask them because they have a one year old son and they have not asked us to be his guardians. He was baptised in January and has four god parents. I am assuming (because my sister is not forthcoming with information generally) that two of these god parents are also his legal guardians.

We've been thinking about it for months and for various reasons don't think any of our friends or other family are suitable. I would be happy to ask my parents but then DH's parents might take offence and anyway how sensible is it to chose grandparents who are already 60+ when bambino (and any siblings) may need their guardians for at least another 20yrs?

Last night I said to DH that the bottom line is that my sis and her hubs are the best people to care for bambino, they are already good parents and and therefore, regardless of our feelings, in wanting to do the best for her, we should chose them anyway.

I think he's still finding it hard to swallow. So am I.

What would you do?


  • FairyluFairylu Posts: 79
    oops double post, sorry
  • AnnaNicole1AnnaNicole1 Posts: 2,435
    Well if u can't trust anyone else then ask her hun. Just because she didn't ask u doesn't mean she hasn't thought about it? Just ask her an see what she says? x
  • FairyluFairylu Posts: 79
    Thanks but they're very organised people. I am sure she's asked someone!
  • Can I ask what the differnce is between a God Parent and a Legal Guardian? I plan on getting my bump christened and we already have 2 sets of friends in mind however if anything happened to both me & Hubby I would expect a family member to automatically take responsibility but never realised I have to actually say or do anything before said event?
  • picklepickpicklepick Posts: 1,141
    Dont you just make a will naming the people you would like to have your children in the event of your death?

    I've never heard of this legal guardian thing before?

  • I think you do usually put it in your will. You just name who you would want to take legal guardianship of your children in the event of your deaths.

    I have heard of people having some sort of alternative documentation- i.e. not a will as such but still a legal paper done via the solicitors to ensure that the chosen people (who have to agree to it) would legally become the children's legal guardians.

    If both of a child's parents were to die- guardianship would not pass automatically to any godparents as being a godparent is not a legally binding commitment- more of a moral obligation to the child.

    Your sister may just not have thought about it yet. The most organised of people don't always plan wills early on in their life. Maybe she assumes one of the sets of grandparents would have legal guardianship.

    I only know this as a friend has been through such preparations recently. If you want something to happen in a particular way after your death you have to make it known legally. Family members would be more likely to get custody of any orphaned children but it could get very very messy. xx
  • lauraxxxlauraxxx Posts: 449
    I wasnt aware you could make legal guardians for your children however I know you cannot just put it in your will as this is what my brothers partner done (she died of cancer and my brother is step father not biological) after 6 years his auntie has had to apply for a residence order as my nephew has no legal guardians and therefore cannot get a passport.

    I would advise doing whatever you can to ensure your childs welfare if anything was to happen to you.

  • FairyluFairylu Posts: 79

    Yes, my understanding is that it has to be in your will. Obviously though I would want to sound whoever it was out and make sure they were willing to do it.

    I really think my sister would have made arrangements one way or another.

    I think we're going to have to look past their decision. But I've still got to convince DH, he's not great at making decisions, I had to nag him into deciding on a name for bambino!
  • Hi

    I am the legal guardian of my niece should anything hapen to my sister

    I think it is to do with legal requirements on a will

    My sisters is a single parent and doesn't want her daughter going to her dad on her death so when making her will specified that I was to be her legal guardian until she is 18

    Its not necessarily legally binding but would give me a better chance of fighting for her in court i think if her dad was to challenge it

    However I am also a God mother to a younger cousin and I know my aunty said she picked me because she knows I would take good care of her if any thing happened

    so thing that maybe its all the same thing

    just different depending on whether you christen or not !

  • feebofeebo Posts: 5

    Just wanted to add that we will be getting our baby christened but the four god-parents will not be who we cite in our will as the legal guardians in the event of our death.

    The legal guardians will prob be my brother and his wife (currently hubby and I are making the final decision on that). We are not picking them as god-parents because they are already auntie and uncle so I can't see the need to be both plus they are not religious. They also live pretty far away from us and I would like the god-parents to be like surrogate aunts and uncles to our child.

    Your sister may have many reasons not to have picked you as god-parent but, like me, that doesn't necessarily mean you're not who she wants as guardian. I think you should talk to her about this. xx
  • ziggywigsziggywigs Posts: 1,435
    I am named in my sisters will for her girls but this doesn't meant to say that i will automatically become their legal guardians, however, your wishes will be taken into account should the unthinkable happen.

    However, it also doesn't stop any others applying for guardianship should they wish to.

    God parents are just guiding lights in a child's life and don't have any legal standing. If you don't want a baptism why not have a simple naming ceremony which can be done by the Humanist society. Instead of god parents you have life guides. My cousin had their daughter named in a Humanist ceremony it was really nice.
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