View Full Version : next of kin type advice needed

23-02-2012, 09:34 AM
Right peeps, this is a bit f a heavy one...

We are in a bit of a worrying situ...

A friend (client) of mine has asked us to be next of kin for her six children (one older not living with them) if she dies. There is no one else.
We agreed after lengthy discussions at home... as an act of mercy rather than see the children split up in care as they would be , and we we would be able to do it.

She is now quite ill with dangerous symptoms and we are having next step talks...

Does anyone know what happens legally if someone names in writing who they want their kids to go to should they die. if everyone is in agreement incl the kids - is it a court case? Would we be obliged to adopt them?
Money would not be an issue (in theory) as she has a number of hefty life insurance policiies...

If this does come to pass (god forbid) then this forum will be a real life line for me... I would have to give up CMing but would still ask for advice on here as it is such a brilliant resource of help....

any other thoughts on this situ also appreciated. I dont regret my offer at all but just having a bit of a panic..as you do.....!

ja xxx

23-02-2012, 09:46 AM
I am sorry but I dont have any advise but just wanted to say what a wonderfull person you must be. Big hugs xx

23-02-2012, 09:47 AM
What a true friend you are , that is an almighty undertaking.
If your friend is well enough she really needs to get some legal advice so that what she wants for her children is well documented , and so that financially you are able to access the funds needed to raise the family.
A friend did something similar a few years ago - there was no court case but everything had been very well organised before mums passing , I know they had a lot of help from CAB on how to proceed. She has never adopted the child.
Will keep mum , her children and your family in my prayers x

23-02-2012, 09:53 AM
What a sad situation to be in. I really hope you friend pulls through.

Who are the children with now? Are they still with their mum? What would happen if she was still living, but unable tolook after them? Would you have them then?

If they are not family, I would have thought you would have to be "approved" to have the children live with you, although I don't know for certain. I only know of cases where children have gone to live with family members, but even then there was a legal process to it. They didn't have to adopt the children though. I don't think they can just come to you because mum requested it, although I'm sure everyone's wishes would be taken into account.
Was the agreement that you would have the children written up officially? If it was, did the solicitor not gve any advice on how it would work?
If it was more of an informal agreement, why not take some legal advice now? It would be better to know where you all stand than leave it until something awful happens, then find out there are complications.

23-02-2012, 10:00 AM
Oh no, poor Mum and kiddlywinks :big hugs:

Not sure how relevant this will be, as our situation was slightly different in that it involved siblings that lost both parents 4 years apart.

When my stepmum died, there were still 3 school age children living at home.
There was nothing in place as it was totally unexpected when she died, and social services were called in.

It was decided that one of my sisters would move back to the family home and become their guardian (she was single with no children and was the best placed person to do this, without splitting the younger ones up either within the family or alternative care arrangements). SS were fantastic I must say, they offered us so much support and guided little sis as to what benefits she was entitled to as their guardian.

Now, there's nothing, to my knowledge, in writing, but that may be because it's all been dealt with within the family, but the children's input was also taken on board. That was now 3 years ago, and little sis has done a fantastic job under what was at the time the most horrific of circumstances, SS had no more involvement after the initial first 6 months, as there were enough of us to offer support, and she was doing so well anyway.

As you aren't a family member, I would imagine that SS would, whilst taking mums feelings into account, maybe explore any possible family routes, before agreeing for the children to stay with you.
Have SS been contacted yet so mum had the opportunity to put her case forward in person as it were?
Could being a foster parent be considered as opposed to being their guardian? (Don't know much about the fostering side, sorry)

Good Luck x

23-02-2012, 10:07 AM
i agree with others - mum needs to seek legal advice really. she needs to ensure that you were able to access the life insurance rather than it being left to the kids as you will be providing for them.
you'd presumably need to look into moving home etc so whilst its a very lovely thing to offer you must make sure that your family is ok too!

23-02-2012, 10:09 AM
Don't really have any advice as i dont know any answers but you must be a good friend for her to ask you. What a lot of children...you must be a wonderful person :D
I would say it all needs to be in writing in some form of document/will and the more detail the better

23-02-2012, 10:17 AM
Would it be possible for mum to talk to a social worker now to discuss her wishes so that a plan can be put in place before anything happens at least she would pass (if this were to happen) knowing what would happen to her children, the children would know what is going to happen to them and you would know where you stand regards the children your grief and there's.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friend and l pray that your friend pulls through.

23-02-2012, 10:29 AM
My heart goes out to everyone involved.

I think the first call would have to be social services to find out where you all go from here, if the worst happens. You would also need to find out about access to the life insurance, because that is a huge financial undertaking to be looking after the children and think the mum needs to make sure everything is watertight now just in case.

I do so hope things work out and that mum recovers xxxx

The Juggler
23-02-2012, 10:43 AM
oh hon big hugs. i hope your friend pulls through. I would see if you can arrange for a solicitor and a social services person to visit you and mum together so you can discuss what you need to do :(

23-02-2012, 12:19 PM
Thank you everyone for the support and affirmation...I don't see myself as wonderful at all :) you know how it is - you just do the obvious thing. To put it into context we were going to foster (and got approved) some years ago and then my mum moved in with us and i was keen back then to have siblings so they wouldn't be split up so I have sort of thought about this before...

6 years on my kids have grown and left home (but visit often - one is at uni for four more years) and my youngest is doing A levels at 17. y.o. We have 6 bedrooms but if this happens it feels like it'l be hard to accommodate my children and their partners when they return but we have B and Bs in our road!

We have sorted the legal and SS side. She is doing her will and naming us as guardians and her social worker says there should be no problem as we are childminders but there would be a children's court case to see if it was in their best interests...given my circs and our house size etc and there being no one else in their family to step up it looks likely we'd be approved.

Thank you - we hope it doesnt come to that but the mum is worried enough that we are arranging getting to know sessions with the rest of the children (I already mind the two youngest.)

Does £250 a month a child sound like it'd cover all their expenses? That's a monthly income she set up thru life insurance (plus there's a lump sum we'd invest for when they're older)

It happens there's a one bedroom flat for sale next door which would cover accommodation for all our visiting children and partners but hubby says that'd be silly as property tax etc would be high.(and we'd have to use the lump sum to buy it which would then tie up the money...)

any thoughts welcome!!

ja xxx

Just running these ideas by you as it's so useful to have an impartial resource.

The Juggler
23-02-2012, 12:24 PM
hon sounds like you have everything under control :)

I honestly have no idea about the expenses per child :panic::( could SS advise on that perhaps??? Depends on their ages and schooling/clubs/activities etc.

Also re: the one bedroom flat next door, I'd say no, I reckon it would be better to either move to a larger property or to extend the one you have to have a spare room (the loft/cellar or an extension maybe?).

I hope it doesn't come to that though :(

23-02-2012, 12:34 PM
The only issue I can see with a monthly allowance of £250 per child, is whilst that may cover everything at the moment, it may not 2 or 3 years down the line, particularly with the cost of living being the way it is... however, if it's likely to go to children's court, maybe there could be something set up so that you could go back to court in regards to upping the childrens living expenses if needed

Think an extension may be a better idea too, cost wise it would probably work out cheaper to do

God I'm not much help am I?

Really feel for you all

blue bear
23-02-2012, 12:50 PM
Sorry no advice, sending hugs, what a terrible thing for you all to be facing, thank goodness your friend has you.

Cammie Doodle
23-02-2012, 12:51 PM
I feel for all involved, but Mum must think very highly of you , as can you imagine entrusting your beloved children to someone :eek: Well done to you both, we are retired Foster Carers and always liked siblings to stay together, we had 4 from the one family (we still keep in touch, many years on) I know this is not about the money, but Im not sure the amount will be enough taking into account you will be giving up work (not sure if you both are ? )is this amount index linked, as Im sure you'll agree they cost more and more as they get older, perhaps SS will put carers allowance in place if/when they come into your care. Thinking of you all and hoping for a miracle and this is a very very long way off.
Take care
As for flat I would'nt I would look at some other way, either extension, change layout etc
What age are the children? Could they share leaving a spare for visitors/ den when visitors not using it ?

23-02-2012, 01:27 PM
Just to put another point of view if you built extension or moved that would be from your own expenses, can you afford to do this, if the flat was brought with the lump sum is it enough or could you top it up, when the youngest child leaves home it could be sold and the proceeds split between them, it would serve a purpose for you and be a long term investment for the children.

23-02-2012, 01:37 PM
Just to put another point of view if you built extension or moved that would be from your own expenses, can you afford to do this, if the flat was brought with the lump sum is it enough or could you top it up, when the youngest child leaves home it could be sold and the proceeds split between them, it would serve a purpose for you and be a long term investment for the children.

I was thinking wouldnt property be a good investment. After all interest rates on savings arent worth it at the moment. I suppose it depends on the cost of property in your area and it would mean the flat could be sold in the future to release the funds when the children are of age

23-02-2012, 01:42 PM
Thanks, yes I agree the flat is prob not the best way to go - we could feasibly think about a loft extension I guess. But it's steep to get up and I'd worry about injury...

The children are 2,4,6,8,10 and 16 (only visits in holidays.)

Yes I could think about a carer's allowance or something along those lines.
My idea about the flat was to sell it in ten years or so when the children need money for uni etc, but in the meantime it would mean my children could visit. The children would all share but the ten y o boy will want his own space soon and we already use 3 bedrooms with us, my daughter and my mum so we only have three available and one is tiny...

I don't know if a monthly life insurance is index linked. I would have thought so...

Thanks again for all your input and good wishes; it's so nice to share it.
Hopefully nothing will come of all this anyway

ja xx

23-02-2012, 04:18 PM

Does £250 a month a child sound like it'd cover all their expenses?


we have 7 children ( 3,4 7,8,12,17 and 21) they all live at home and dont cost us anywhere near this amount,obviously our gas and electic is quite high and food bill but if you arnt extravagant and can manage without fancy holidays(we own a static caravan and go camping in a massive tent instead)you will find that it should cover every thing.
you may find that you wont have to give up childminding either once you,ve found your feet and got into a routine.you wont have alot of spaces but you will find that once you are doing it for your own children(which is what these children will become) its no harder to do it for a few extra.
Well done you for doing this.I cant imagine trying to find someone who would love and cherish my kids the way i would want them to be loved.You must be a very special person xxxx and if you need any tips on raising a big family i'm happy to help x

23-02-2012, 05:33 PM
Thank Dette I will certainly take you up on your offer if it comes to it.
I will still need an income so Wd like to get back to child minding once it settled down.
I agree about the property investment too and we live in a tourist area.,. The trouble is we Wd prob need to dip into the lump sum
During the next 16 years...