How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dave Kennett Your Own Question
Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Dave Kennett is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My sister passed away 5 years ago September 10th. Her husband

This answer was rated:

My sister passed away 5 years ago September 10th. Her husband passed away yesterday. Two minor children in Indiana. children are 13 yo and 15 yo. 15 year old has basically been parenting since my sister's death and now very assertive about her desires.
There are siblings on both sides of paternity and at this point no one knows anything. It is the desire of my neice to go to a neighbor. I do not want them pulled to another state to go through yet another trauma. Is there any way one person can be custodian and allow another to have temporary guardianship?
Please help this is quickly becoming a mess. The current will is 2007 and names a guardian that is not in a position to serve. Neighbor is being very aggressive in contacting the kids fathers attorney etc. and has meeting with him this afternoon. Neice is distrought beyond belief.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Is the neighbor the same person the child wants to live with?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Right now things are very up in the air. I do not know if deceased father's siblings have any desire to have the kids, however, i do not believe so.


Yes, neighbor is the person that my niece thinks would be best for her and her brother to live with. I do not know if this is actually the case until i can get there Wednesday and access the situation for myself. My niece has indicated she does not want to live in the marital home ever again as that is where both of her parents have passed. I get it! I have been employed in a family law firm in NC for 14 years, however, laws are different everywhere and I am very uncertain as to the legalities of Indiana or what say the children may or may not have. Currently social services is involved, due to the lack of acceptable guardian. The names guardian from the 2007 will is the deceased father's brother and is incarcerated.

What a mess for these poor kids. Clearly, there are many options, however, one of paternal brothers live locally and two of maternal siblings live locally with one of those siblings being half sibling. half sibling seems to show interest and desire, however, i do not know that she is in a financial position to take this on.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I did send you back an additional email, please let me know that you recieved the same or if i need to resend via this method.

Dear JACUSTOMER - Yes this is a mess. the family law court in the county where the children live will have the jurisdiction over the placement but they should also listen to the children's wishes as to where they want to live. The best way to solve any concerns of money getting into the wrong hands is to have the trustee of the finances be different from who has custody. If there was a will then someone needs to apply to be the executor if the named executor is not available. An estate needs to be opened to handle the transfer of the assets for the benefit of the children and to pay any debts out of the estate. The children do not have the final say as to custody so the court is likely to conduct an investigation into any proposed persons who may seek custody. Hopefully the estate has enough money to hire a probate lawyer to guide all of this through the court system and monitor who gets custody. If no one in Indiana is capable to handle the representation of the estate you can apply however you are not a relative of the deceased so it probably will be some blood relative of the father.
Dave Kennett and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX appreciate your time and expertise. Certainly i do not wish to represent the estate in any fashion and he has two brother who are capable. My only concern is my sisters children. Guess we will see what happens when i arrive and talk to social workers, judge and attorney.

Again, thank you.

Yes, everyone will need to be involved, including the kids. This is a tough situation at best and cooperation among the adults will go a long way to help the trauma to the children. If the kids really want the neighbors and neighbors really want the kids then that may be the best solution but I would have someone else in charge of the finances. Also, keep in mind, the court will have jurisdiction until the kids are 18 so if things don't work out the custody can always be changed.

Thanks for using our service - Dave