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Guardianship During Recession

Mommy Dearest: Changing Guardianship Due to Recession

Mommy Dearest,

Four years ago before our son was born, my husband and I drew up a will that included guardianship of any kids to come. At the time, we selected my brother and his wife to serve as guardians due to their financial stability, values, and similar lifestyle and sentiments about raising children. Unfortunately, the recession has hit them hard, and they are struggling. My brother has been out of work for several months with no job prospects in sight. Looking out for our son's best interest, we have decided to assign guardianship to someone with more stability. Are we wrong in doing this?

– Guardianship Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Guardianship Mommy,

Choosing guardianship for your child is a tough decision, but it sounds like you put a lot of thought into selecting your brother and sister-in-law. Though no parent wants their child to be a burden, I think it's best for you to discuss your concerns with your brother. It sounds like his financial situation was just one factor in why you asked him to raise your son if something happened to you and your husband. To abruptly remove him from such an important post because of the economy seems a bit harsh.

– Mommy Dearest

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Join The Conversation
MaggieLei MaggieLei 7 years
We are in this position too, but that is why we have life insurance. It seems like such a simple solution to me. The family members that we have chosen are wonderful and loving with all of the same parenting values. They are just currently short on money because one was a real estate agent and the other was a stay-at-home mom. Now they both have to work. Their financial situation has only enhanced their good parenting values. Their two children are still fed and clothed, but are also learning what is important in life. It has only affirmed our decision because we see that they would be able to help our children through tough times.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 7 years
I have to say that I am in this exact position - we are set up as guardians of kids and one of us is out of work - and would be so hurt if they changed the guardianship over our lack of money. We would do everything possible to give the children a loving, healthy, home and while we are tight on money right now, we are certainly not destitute and can feed, cloth, and put a roof over the little ones' heads. Is there a good chance both you and your spouse are going to pass away soon? Sooner than you think your brother's family is going to turn around their financial turn-around? If it's really worrying you, perhaps you should talk to them. Maybe they would agree with you that they couldn't afford to take over your children's lives should something happen to both of you.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I totally agree with Danni on all of her points. It's a temporary problem so many people are dealing with. It's not like they quit they're jobs and are traveling gypsies now. I wouldn't change it for this reason. I would hope that his having stable finances was only one of the things you chose him for. There are so many more things important, especially considering your life insurance would be going towards the child, would it not? Even if they were struggling, the child wouldn't be left penniless.
Danni99 Danni99 7 years
Being without a job is a short term problem, raising a child in the wake of their parent's death is a long term commitment. I would be very reluctant to rearrange my plans for my children based on a temporary financial constraint unless I had a strong reason to suspect that the need for a guardian was likely to arise while the temporary situation still persisted. You chose your brother because his household most closely matched your own in terms of how you want your kids raised, right? Don't let money, a tangible and changing issue, stop you from placing your children in the hands of someone you trust. Perhaps you could create a trust intended to supplement the financial cost of raising your children in the event that he had to assume guardianship? When he becomes employed again, you could revoke the trust and return the money funding it to your general assets for testate distribution...
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