How can I guarantee that my daughter will live with her sister instead of her father if I die?

Question Details: If I die, I want my youngest daughter to live with her university-aged sister, rather than her troubled father (from whom I am separated). Is there any way I can guarantee that this will happen?

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Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

There are steps you can take to make it more likely she will live with her sister, but you cannot guarantee it.

The best thing for you to do is to write in your will that you want your elder daughter to be a testamentary guardian for your youngest daughter if you pass away. Then, if you die while your younger daughter is still a child, your elder daughter and their father will both be guardians of your younger daughter.

As a testamentary guardian, your elder daughter will be able to help to make important decisions in your youngest daughter’s life. However, she will not have the automatic right to provide day-to-day care for her younger sister. She would need to apply to the Family Court if she wanted day-to-day care.

On the Community Law website you can read more about guardianship:
And more about the Family Court:

It is also a good idea to talk to family members about your wishes. If they know your wishes, it might help them to make an arrangement without needing to go to the Family Court if you passed away.

Answered 29 May 2012. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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