Do you have written instructions in case of unexpected death?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My sister called last night and told me a sad story. Her Godchild (47) and her husband were killed in a car wreck. Their 4 year old son was in hid carseat in the back of the car when the car caught fire. A wonderful woman faced the flames and rescured the boy (he had one broken bone). So sad.

    Sadder yet...the authorities have still not allowed the grandparents to even see the child. They placed the child in Foster Care "where they know he will be safe". It has been four weeks and nobody has been able
    to see or hold him! The only good thing is that he is "allowed" to go to the same babysitter during the day.

    Most of us write down what to do after death but evidently you should have a document saying what to do if you become disabled or die so there is a specific designated guardian of YOUR choice for your child. What a tragedy! His Aunt went to Court this week to gain custody and it is expected it will be approved. The whole family is exempleary (sp) so I was shocked. Thought I'd sound a warning. DDD
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    No I don't and I SHOULD because of exactly the example you've posted. It would be a HUGE deal for my kids if they had to go to foster care after an event like that instead of with family. Thank you for sounding this caution to us!
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I don't have written instructions. easy child would go to her dad. My difficult child at 16? He can legally live alone if he wanted. His bio dad might ask him to stay, but I doubt it. difficult child would say no. No court could force him. difficult child says he would stay with my S/O. S/O would of course be fine with keeping difficult child with him. I neglected to do this for difficult child in writing when he was younger. I'm so glad that nothing happened to need it! When he was younger, his dads family would have fought for difficult child but difficult child made it clear he would never live with them.

    My cousin and her now ex-husband long ago asked me to care for their son if anything happened to both of them. I agreed. They did go have it done up by a lawyer. Very wise of them. They could ill afford the legal cost, but they were wise to pony up the money and make it a legal document.

    I'm so sorry for the family and this little boy. Hope he is back with family and out of foster care quickly. how awful that CPS would withhold him from grandparents after something so tragic!! :(
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We wanted to have something drawn up when the boys were young but no family would agree to take our kids and we didnt know any friends who would have taken them either. So we just prayed real hard that we would live. We did. Now I know Jamie and Billie have life insurance but I dont know if they have a will. I will have to ask them. I dont know if I want the kids to be honest. I would take them though. Of course we questions asked but it might be better if they went to someone younger. Maybe Cory or Billy. Actually it would be good if they came to us but Cory played a major part.

    Now with Cory and Lindsey not living together it would be highly unlikely something would happen to both of them but should that happen...the other grandmother and I would probably work out something. Since there are two parents here, she might come here and to Lindas during summers and weekends or vice versa.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I always intended to, but never got around to it. Although it was clear to everyone the only ones I'd let them go to were husband's bro and wife, and my one sis and her husband.

    I keep telling the girls they need to do this. So far they're not listening. easy child just assumes I'll take the boys. And while she's right.......sister in law's Mom wouldn't......same senerio as you mentioned could happen. And Nichole assumes either easy child or I will take Aubrey. Same situation. sigh

    Poor child. He didn't need the additional trauma of foster care ontop of the loss of his parents.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I did have something written up, because I really didn't want Miss KT to go to her father's, even though we had joint legal custody. Now, since she's 18, she and Hubby would fight over who got the house, my car, the dog, etc.

    Guess I really ought to make a will.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Each state is different on this. Some will not accept a written document that is not prepared by an attorney. Some will accept a scrawl on a sheet of notebook paper.

    I have no one to take my kids. My parents would but they have raised their kids. My kids would not stay with my brother. Period. they would run away repeatedly. Too much history there.

    husband's sister only wanted one child and let us know from the beginning she would not take ours. husband's parents also would not.

    So we are without instructions.

    For those in Ohio - GET THAT FILLED OUT!!!

    My Gpa died when my Dad was 21, my uncle was 16 and my aunt was 11. Or thereabouts. My Grandma had to go to court EVERY YEAR to PROVE she was not spending their money (they each inherited part of the $$ by state law - the state also took a more than generous share). She also had to PROVE she was a fit guardian. EVERY YEAR. If she had started to date the judge TOLD HER he would take the children away. She didn't want to date, but it was still scary.

    The state of Ohio is really scary on this topic. While it has changed some since the 60's, it hasn't changed much. They MUST have something in writing, preferably notarized at the least. It should say that the children will be cared for by the surviving spouse or X person (include contact information). It should also detail how any property should be divided.

    Thanks for the warning. It is very important.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Really don't have anyone. I think it would have to be split between certain friends and my mom/sister. husband's mom is too high strung/anxious. Kids hate it when she comes to visit. husband's dad was way too abusive as a parent and does not believe in BiPolar (BP), adhd or medications. He does not know his own son is BiPolar (BP), and does not know he was hospitalized last week. husband's half bro is a drunk, his step sibs are no better. I could go on but it is too depressing.

    I should write something up with who I would want them to spend time with. Right now I just have too much other stuff to deal with.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    We had a will drawn up shortly after our first was born and then had it updated when the others came along. We aren't as in close contact with those who are our guardians any more but I'd trust them as much as anyone. My easy child's would adapt in a tragedy, but I don't even want to think about...

    I also keep a difficult child notebook with IEPs, doctor reports, medication info, etc and in that notebook I have an "in case of emergency" section which has direction to "The Explosive Child" and contact info for doctors.

    I haven't updated it in awhile and need to do that.
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    difficult child would go to difficult child 2's mom. My mom and difficult child are like oil and water.

    I don't have anything written yet, and I have thought about that a lot over the years - especially more recently. I need to have that done. I take that back. I have it written, but not signed or notarized. I need to look into what will make it a legally binding document. I even have instructions in it for my pets. They're my babies, too.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Don't have anything written but really should. Both kids would go with my sister and her family. They have a will and we would take her three boys if anything happened.
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I never had anything official when my kids were younger, but I probably should have. When they were little they would have gone to my brother and his wife who were like second parents to them anyway, but H's family would have fought for them too.

    I was really careful though when I got divorced - my son was 15 and my daughter was 20, almost 21. If anything had happened to me, there is no way my son would have agreed to live with his dad! Had anything happened, he would have gone to live with his sister who had moved back to Florida. And even though the divorce agreement said we were both supposed to have both kids as joint beneficiaries on our life insurance, I made my daughter the sole beneficiary on mine. I made her the sole beneficiary on everything I had - life insurance, 401k, the pay off on my leave balances at work - everything - not that I had a lot. But that way my sons' half would have gone to her to administer for him - not to his father for him to spend on his new wife and her kids! Then when my son was old enough, I changed it all back again to make them joint beneficiaries. I felt a lot better about it that way.
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    DDD is so right, you have to have a lawyer put it in writing. When H. died, I knew all of her wishes, yet few of them were carried out. We can "wish or want" all we want - but death is final - and unless it is written down in a legal document anyone can intervene and change our wishes to theirs.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is also important to those of us with SO's. I really need to get a will done because all my property is solely in my name. I need to designate how I want these things (car, mobile home, etc) divided up when I die. He should have them since we have lived here together forever just like we were married.
  15. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    We do have a will and a living will as well, which is just as important. How sad for this little boy that he lost both his parents and haven't been able to see the family and people around him that have loved him through his life. How sad for the grandparents, suffering the loss of their children and not even being able to take comfort in holding and taking care of their grandchild. Sometimes, the state should stay out of things.....amazing how they'll take this boy "to keep him safe." Yet kids die of child abuse, even days after a social worker had been out to a house. I'm just shaking my head.
  16. jal

    jal Member

    husband and I had our will and also our living wills drawn up shortly after difficult child was born. I was doing a lot of traveling (flying) for work and it was a year after 9/11 so we thought we should be smart and plan ahead with that fresh in our minds. We only have one child and if anything should happen, he is to go to my parents.
  17. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    After husband's unexpected death I'm in the process with an attorney to get everything down in writing. It can become a tedious process.

    As I have no one in my family (on either side) who can/are willing to take on the tweedles I am appointing a spoke's person on the tweedles behalf (my older brother & husband's older sister) & the county will have physical custody. I'm not sure about guardianship - I'm going to set up a special needs trust.

    Saying that, it's important to have it all set down. While I spoke for husband while he was in ICU (we had nothing down in writing), I fought doctors, husband's family & the like to let him go. He wouldn't have wanted to live the way he was being kept alive.

    I miss him so.
  18. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I have my life insurance policy which makes H the primary beneficiary and my sister the contingent in trust for my girls...I am up for my renewal and will make H and the two girls the primary beneficiaries in that regard.

    I travel infrequently for work, but every time I prepare for a trip, I revise a letter, which is pretty much some personal (and emotional) directives for each of my immediate family members, what to get rid of, what to keep and save; expressing my desire to be there for one another.

    Along with that, I also created and had notarized a living will and medical directives. In fact, I had easy child and difficult child do one as well, they are over 18 and I would have to fight the courts and exh's family should they ever be in a vegatative state and were unable to speak for themselves. I am grateful that I have that small thing and that the girls agreed to it. Each of them made the other their contingent spokesperson after me, which I thought both interesting and nice. Funny how we pull towards family even when we necessarily don't in day to day life, huh?

    Next step is to organize a book with all my bills and corresponsing account and phone numbers, along with my bank accounts, passwords, etc., so that in the earliest moments of a disability or death, H or easy child could take that over and function, have access to my money, etc. THAT is the only thing that I'm missing and have been meaning to get on.

    Thanks for the reminder!
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I "think" that maybe it is important to have one or two designated family members or friends who have a copy of your intentions. Otherwise, the legal system likely is slow to take action. Perhaps in addition to a will everyone should have a notarized letter that simply addresses who should take custody in case of emergencies. I know our will etc. are kept in a safety deposit box and if our attorney was out of town it would be days before easy child would be able to travel here and take the right steps. DDD
  20. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    If I croak, financially, wee difficult child will be set.

    However, despite my post/vent about husband this morning, I have been thinking for a while about husband. I am not sure he could take care of wee difficult child. He is completely out of touch and I don't think there's any way he could figure out how to keep the household going, let alone figure out how to keep wee difficult child going. Its been on my mind a lot lately.