I am really wrestling with an issue that recently came up. Here is the background story: My brother-in-law (my wife's brother) has talked to my wife and said that he wants to name us as the care-takers of his children in his will if anything was to happen to both him and his wife. Here's the footnote to that, though. They have five young children, and one of those five is a special-needs child. To get a better idea of the social element between my family (wife and two young children) and theirs, we live on the other side of the country from them and it would be a huge stretch to even remotely say that we are "close".
I'm not sure what the typical obligation would be here at this point. It's one thing if we are talking about one child, or even two children. But five children (one with special needs) is quite an undertaking that I'm not sure is reasonable or even possible. Here are some points I struggle with:
- I work hard to provide for my wife (stay at home Mother) and my two children. Truth is, I'm not sure if my income could provide for an additional 5 people. My children would do without in many aspects of their lives.
- Accommodations simply aren't there. Yes there is a spare bedroom, but talking about the magnitude of five extra people to provide sustainable and long term living quarters, I just don't see it.
- Family element. Call it what you want, but as a father and a husband I enjoy spending my life with my wife and my children. Realistically speaking, adding five additional children to which I have no real bond to will most definitely change everything.
If we were the only other family to where these kids could go to, I'd say that's one thing. But we are surely not. In this family there are also my wife's parents (which would also be the same parents of her brother -- the kids' grandparents), my wife's brother's wife's sister (sorry for the confusion, could also be referred to as my brother-in-law's sister-in-law, the aunt of the kids on the other side of the family), and my wife's brother's wife's mother (the other grandmother, on that side of the family).
To undertake this responsibility alone just doesn't seem possible, appropriate, or feasible. What is the typical thing to do here? Given the quantity (five) and the requirements (one special-needs child), I would think this hardly fits in a "typical" scenario of care takers in the event parents pass away. But I would truly like to hear thoughts on this.
Am I wrong for thinking the way I'm thinking?
Is this just simply an inappropriate request from my wife's brother?