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Babble Talk: Who Looks After Your Kids When You Die?

who looks after your kids when you dieThe biggest thing my wife and I need to correct in our life right now is simple; we need a will.

We’ve talked about what would happen but we’ve never written it down in a legal document. We’d donate our organs, our oldest would get my grandfather’s ring, our youngest her wedding ring. We’ve talked about it, but we’ve never made it fully legit.

We’ve also talked about who would look after our kids. This is an interesting discussion. It’s easy to decide which kid would get a ring, it’s an entirely different thing to talk about which of your friends, or which side of your family your kids would go to if you both die.

After the jump, read about the devastating story of a UK couple with two kids, both under 40, both with terminal diagnoses.

Clare Coulston has been given a 30% chance to beat an aggressive form of oesophageal cancer she was diagnosed with in 2009. Her husband, Paul, was diagnosed with a Motor Neuron Disease this past spring.  Together, doctors have said they have between 3 and 5 years to live. To complicate matters their, children are just 4 and 6.

I can’t imagine the heartache this family must feel being hit twice with fatal news and knowing their end is near and their is slim chance they will see their kids enter high school, let alone get married and have children of their own. So the couple is faced with the heart-wrenching decision of planning their children’s lives without them, and seeking guardians.

At least they have the time to plan, other families are not so lucky.

We had a date night with a couple friend of ours and brought up the topic. They’d recently had the same discussion and were just in the process of “un-asking” a family member whose life had gone sideways.

It’s a serious thing to ask another person to look after your kids. You have to hope they have a similar moral compass, value system, and goals. You’d be hard pressed to find that sort of perfect score inside any family unit, and even friends, the family you choose, go about things differently.

You may have a best friend you love, but her husband smokes. You have a brother who would be perfect, but the religious practices of the family don’t jive. Still others would move the kids far away from other family and friends.

Do you have a will? Have you asked friends or family to look after your kids when you die? Was it a tough decision?

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