What does it mean to be someone's legal guardian?
January 4, 2012 11:16 AM Subscribe
What questions should my partner and I ask my brother and sister-in-law before we agree to be named in their wills as the legal guardians of their young son, should anything happen to them?
posted by anonymous to law & government (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My brother and my sister-in-law have asked my partner and I if we would agree to be named in their wills as their son's legal guardians, should something happen to the both of them. They aren't pressuring us for an answer, and are giving us time to think about it.
I understand legal guardianship conceptually - we would agree to care for, love and raise our nephew as if he were our own son. However, I'm not at all familiar with any logistics or nitty-gritty, and I'm looking for ideas on what questions we should ask my brother and sister-in-law before we say yes, so that I can get a better idea of exactly what we'd be signing up for (hopefully to never be invoked, of course). I know they both have life insurance that would provide for their son, but I don't know anything about how that gets administered.
My inclination is of course to say yes, and we are both honoured to have been asked. On the flip side, we are also surprised to be asked, because I have another brother who is married with a small child, and my sister-in-law also has a sister with a small child. My partner and I have no children or parenting experience, so on the surface, we seem like the least qualified family members. We do plan to have children in the future, but not for a couple of years.
Some perhaps relevant details:
-we all live in Canada, in the same area; the rest of my immediate family also lives in town
-my brother and his wife are both in their 30s; their son is 10 months old and healthy
-I am 28 and my partner is 31; we are engaged and planning to get married next year
-I have a full-time and stable job with decent pay and good benefits; my fiancé is in school to be a teacher
-I have no debt; my fiancé has some student loan debt, but nothing too onerous
-we rent a 1 bedroom place
Hit me with your best advice. I have a very good relationship with my brother and sister-in-law; I think they would be receptive to frank and honest questions, and happy that we are treating the issue seriously.