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My dead ex best friend still wanted me to take in her daughter

 
 
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2022 08:36 am


14 years ago my best friend, Gwen, had a baby. After the baby was born Gwen asked me if I would be her daughters godmother and take her in if anything happened to her as the father was not involved. At the time I agreed because Gwen was like my sister and she had no other family.

A little while after that Gwen and I had a big fight. I don’t remember the details of how the fight started anymore, but it got pretty bad in the end. Like we were full on screaming at each other and calling each other horrible things. By the end both of us agreed that we never wanted to see each other ever again.

It had been over ten years since I have seen, talked to, or heard anything from Gwen. Last week however I found out that she passed away. I have since been contacted by a lawyer about her daughter. Apparently after all these years Gwen has kept her will the same. So I am still listed as the person to take Gwen’s daughter in. It also seems it wasn’t just something she forgot to change either as she left me a note. The note is dated a few weeks before her death and in it she apologized for the fight and asked me to keep my promise to take in her daughter as I was still the most stable person in her life.

But honestly I don’t want to. Neither does my husband. We didn’t get together until after me and Gwen’s fight so he knew nothing about it. The girl is now 14 years old and she is to be frank a complete stranger. Literally the last time I saw her she was barely starting to talk in full sentences. I feel weird about having a stranger in our home especially since we have young kids of our own. Not to mention all the other difficulties with suddenly being responsible for a teenager.

But there’s still no one else that can take her in, so if I do not she will have to go into foster care. So I do sort of feel bad, but it’s not my responsibility anymore is it? I feel like Gwen should have made other arrangements after our fight, especially when she knew for awhile that she was dying. I can’t even imagine leaving my children to someone I hadn’t seen or talked to in over a decade.
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 526 • Replies: 8
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2022 08:45 am
@Sxnatt ,
Well, the person who's really going to be whacked the hardest in this is Gwen's daughter. Fight or no fight, changed mind or not, she didn't have a hand in any of this.

Maybe you, your lawyer, the lawyer for the estate, and a guardian representing the daughter, with the daughter present (but not all the time) should sit down together and talk about the girl's future.

Maybe the girl has other ideas in mind. Just as her mother knew she was dying, the girl probably had some sort of inkling (but I caution you that this is a minor so we can't ascribe mature motives to her).

But there may be a cousin, a friend's family, etc. Or you and your husband may find you'd like to be the girl's guardian after all. Or maybe the girl says she doesn't want you to be her guardian and would prefer foster care (again, this is not an adult, so she will not necessarily be making the best decisions for herself. This is why children like her get what's called a guardian ad litem in court).

So, you'll see. I think you'll feel better about things if something like this happens, even if you don't take the girl in. Just washing your hands of it would be easy, sure, but again, none of this mess is the kid's fault.

You can still say no. I'm just suggesting that you face the girl if you do.
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Mame
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2022 09:07 am
Well, this is a conundrum. I don't think you're liable just because it's in a will. I'm not a lawyer, but I was named Executor of a friend's will, even after I said I didn't want to do it. I had to meet with the bank and write a letter of recusal, which I did. So, I'm sure you can do the same.

Tough times for this young lady and foster care is no picnic. It's very difficult to place teenagers and even harder for female teenagers.

I agree with Jes that you all should sit down and discuss the situation.

Her world is in turmoil - losing her mom, where is she going to live, etc. BTW, you don't mention if you're even in the same town - maybe she won't want to lose all her friends at this time, too.

So, in a nutshell, no I don't think you're obligated to take her in, but do have a care for this young girl and her traumatic situation.
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engineer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2022 09:34 am
Before you speak with the daughter, you and your husband should decide on what you are able/willing to do. If you decide "no way am I taking this child" then I wouldn't ask her opinion when it really doesn't matter. If you are thinking "I don't want this child, but I might feel differently after meeting her" then that's a different conversation. There might also be provisions in the will for her support, so it could be that she would not be a financial burden, but the lawyer would have to tell you.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2022 10:18 am
@Sxnatt ,
agree with jespah and others --

But to add you say I can’t even imagine leaving my children to someone I hadn’t seen or talked to in over a decade? She told you why - as per you and her note...

Quote:
she left me a note. The note is dated a few weeks before her death and in it she apologized for the fight and asked me to keep my promise to take in her daughter as I was still the most stable person in her life.


Sounds like this former friend of yours did not have the best situation if a friend from a decade ago was the most stable person in her life.

Me, I would not hesitate to take the girl in, but that is me and all I can think about is this poor girl - with no one. It would not matter to me if she were a stranger - she is a child in need. But that is me and I would not push my morals on someone else.

For you I think jespah thoughts are best - if you end up bringing this child into your family - you should talk with your children and see how they feel. Following jespah's thoughts you might find the best solution for this girl. Whether it is your personal responsibility or not you should try to help as much as possible for this poor girl who's whole life just uplifted --- that is probably why you feel bad - your conscience talking to you.
0 Replies
 
PoliteMight
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 May, 2022 09:05 pm
@Sxnatt ,
Your her friend and now she is passed away. Do your duty to your friend as much as possible and for-fill the roll in life you already agree to. Otherwise you prove there is no hope in this world.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 May, 2022 06:07 am
@PoliteMight,
Are you really as big a twit as you come across? Do your duty? That agreement was made years ago, they haven't been friends for a decade or more... and it's 'You're her friend" and "the role in life"...
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 May, 2022 06:58 am
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

Are you really as big a twit as you come across? Do your duty? That agreement was made years ago, they haven't been friends for a decade or more... and it's 'You're her friend" and "the role in life"...


This person is very odd - has been posting only since the 20th of this month and seems to only answer a post once (unless s/he) is adding onto what other thing he said. Never appears back again.

It seems this person is likely a basement dweller, came across this website, and is now determined to answer every post here and to never go back to the post again.

Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 May, 2022 07:07 am
@Linkat,
Not to mention dredging up old ****.
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