I think this is the most interesting programme in the series so far. The appointment of Guardians is one of the most important matters that can be settled in a Will and the programme clearly showed how it can be one of the most difficult and contentious decisions.
The first couple in Sir Gerry’s programme admitted that for ten years they had been unable to agree upon which set of grandparents to appoint as Guardians for their three children. There were clear advantages on each side, but different backgrounds mean different upbringings, and whilst there is no right and wrong, this was the fundamental difference and is a very common issue with many families. Sir Gerry’s effective communication guided by his diplomacy and searching questions, provided the solution. His skill from boardroom battles was effective when he challenged the Guardianship questions raised by the family. Sir Gerry managed to tease out individual feelings, and guide each parent to a common decision and, bring them closer together at the same time. It was difficult not to shed a tear at the end. However, they succeeded in inevitably avoiding putting the children in the middle of disagreements and arguments.
The second couple also benefitted from effective communication. A married couple with two children, one daughter from the wife’s first marriage and one of their own, did not want to the first daughter’s father to take his automatic guardianship if the mother died. To cut a long story short, Sir Gerry sussed out that the father wanted to have a say in the guardianship appointment. It turned out that he and the new husband could work closely together. Although it was not easy for any of them, they met and agreed that the second husband would take guardianship of the daughter but full access granted to the father. This was a huge result and relieve to everyone.
Communication. It is essential to think and discuss all the options with all parties. Avoid surprises because they bring up all the previous history at the expense of the kids.
Follow this link and watch this programme if you are thinking about guardians for your children!