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February 26, 2004


Antique Mommy

Julie! - Get a will, get a will, get a will -- unless you want the state to decide for you!! I was widowed at 34, no kids, no will -- and the state of Texas decided by law that my in-laws were entitled to half the assets my husband and I had accumulated in our 8-year marriage (10 year relationship). Every state is different. Don't wait one more day.


This is an excellent question. In an odd way my divorce has helped some. If I should die Critter would go to my ex husband, no need for a will. On the off chance we both die we need to BOTH decide and put in our wills who we want to have custody.

We know who we DON'T want. His brother and sister-in-law do not share the same parenting philosophies as we do and frankly we'd rather Critter go into foster care than be raised by them. My brother lives out of state, with little or no family on either side close by. Both our parents, while they would be good and loving guardians, are older.

I would like to "leave" Critter to his God-mother. I've been too preoccupied with other things to discuss this with my ex. We are on excellent terms and aren't avoiding talking to each other. Just avoiding the issue.


This is a tough one. I am an only child, so I have no siblings. We'e decided that my husband's sister and husband will raise our kiddos if ever need be. They have two of their own and a stable home environment. It's a hard decision - but an important one.


I feel for you. It's such a hard decision. We made a will right after our son was born and we spoke with both our families about it to make sure everyone was in complete understanding. My husband and I agreed that my sister was the best choice and we have a contingency plan in case--God forbid--something happens to all three of us, which is his brother will take our son. I'm not as excited by that (he's a very young 28), but I think that if the worst case scenario came to that, he'd rise to the occasion. Both our parents are out simply because they are ageing. But we know that they'd help my sister out in any way necessary. You may want to try one of those do-it-yourself wills or something to cut costs. I asked around about the cost of a will, and was horrified at how expensive they are! Luckily a family friend is a lawyer who was willing to do it for us. Good luck!


Wow, I thought we were alone in the "haven't put it in writing" category.
My husband has two older daughters, who both have their own children. The older one has boys, closer to my daughter's age, the younger one has two (under three) girls that my daughter (11) adores! Then, there's my older sister, with a stable household and my parents living downstairs ~ but her children are college-age and does she want to raise a teenager all over again.
As many others, we MUST put this in writing. Maybe next month, when my father-in-laws estate is settled, then with the 2-family house in our names, a will is in order anyway. Thanks everyone for the input!


After our daughter, Lillianna, was born we decided to write our will. At that point we only owned a house and a child and people laughed that we would write a will. Our lawyer told us if we didn't have our custody wishes in writing our darling precious child would go to the state!!!! What?????? No, that couldn't be right. My mom or sister would take my baby. Our lawyer said not if it wasn't in our will. It was against the law for anyone to take my child. We immediately thought about who should raise Lillianna. My sister at the time was only 23yrs old and she wasn't married. She was still clubbing and having fun and I didn't want a child to ruin her life. We decided to name our best friends who are older than us and have grown kids to be Lillianna's guardians. As my sister got older she said, "I pray you and Rich live long lives but if you don't, Lillianna is my child. I want her. She belongs to me." She was right. So we changed our will. Now Lillianna is 6 and my sister is almost 30. They are closer than most aunts and nieces. I hope we live to see grandchildren but if not then I know Lillianna is in the best hands. Choose wisely. Be certain. But whatever you do....put it in writing immediately!!!! Good luck.


It can be tough, but you really should put even an imperfect resolution to this question in writing in your will. This is especially true if you want a non-family member to take custody. Without that in writing he would likely go temporarily to a family member who would then be able to make a very strong case for continuing their custody of him in perpetuity. It was a hard decision for us as well and we had to confront our own distrust of some family members. But by putting it in writing we were able to deal with some of those concerns and let go of those we can’t address. I was particularly grateful we’d gotten this done when my 4 year old daughter asked a few months ago what would happen to her if her father and I die. We were able to give her very definitive and clear answers that I also know where accurate. It made us both feel better about it I think.


Wow. I'm so glad to hear that my husband and I aren't the only parents going through this. We haven't put anything in writing either because everytime the subject comes up we argue. He wants his mother but for gods sake, she's already in her late 60's. I say my sister. But he doesn't like her husband so much or the way she spoils my daughters. <--- Is that so bad? Anyhow, we just leave the subject alone to avoid fights...but really we shouldn't!


It's a tough decision, Julie, but I strongly urge you to make it and put it in writing. I had an aunt and uncle who were hit by lightning on a golf course, died instantly, and left three orphans. Their wishes were unclear and the children were eventually split up among two sides of the family -- whatever my aunt and uncle wanted, I'm guessing that wasn't it. Should the worst happen to you (God forbid!), Colter will be having enough pain and confusion without the additional nightmare of people arguing over who gets him.


This is a toughie!We haven't ever had ours written up because we can't agree.I love my parents but I was raised very strict.I don't want my kids raised that way.His parents are just out..lol...so we have no clue!


It is such a hard thing. We will probably go with my husband's sister, as she is 12 years younger, however, she isn't Jewish (my husband converted). We'd want to make provisions for our son to have a Jewish education, but who would ensure that that would happen? As you can see, we haven't yet done a thing...

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