Elizabeth Edwards Fears Leaving Kids With John

John Edwards
Buzz, Self

As she prepares for death, Elizabeth Edwards grooms her eldest daughter to take over.

Elizabeth Edwards does not want John Edwards raising their children Emma (12) and Jack (10) after she is gone, especially if Rielle Hunter remains in the picture. And can you blame her?

That nightmare scenario, however, is one that she is having to confront amidst reports that her health has "taken a turn for the worse lately."

"She does not want Rielle anywhere near them," says a source to the New York Daily News, a fear made valid throughout the homewrecker's rambling GQ interview last March. After all, Rielle has made it abundantly clear that she remains patiently waiting with unconditional love to re-unite with her Johnny in marriage after Elizabeth's death. Rielle Hunter Gives Relationship Advice In GQ

A sentiment to which Elizabeth replies, not over or in spite of my dead body.

Friends close to the family say that Elizabeth "has been grooming" her 28-year-old daughter Cate to take over parenting duties after her death.

"She's a smart and competent woman," says the source, highlighting Cate's Harvard Law degree, steady job as a federal court clerk, Georgetown row house, and doctor boyfriend.

Regardless of this is even possible — after all, "The father would have the paramount right to succeed to the custody of his natural children, says New York attorney Peter Bronstein in the article — Emma and Jack no doubt will be turning to their older sister as a source of support, and it makes good sense for Elizabeth to prepare Cate for such a responsibility, official guardian or not.

Elizabeth's sister, Nancy Anania Sims, doesn't "think" that this subject has been officially broached between mother and daughter, but does corroborate the idea that Elizabeth may be hoping to deprive her husband of custody. Rielle Hunter Says "Yes" To John Edwards' Proposal

Nevertheless, Sims, who believes that Elizabeth's bad condition has been exaggerated, goes on to say that she doesn't believe Edwards will marry Rielle: "I find it impossible to believe [they'll marry]. That would surprise me."

Well, he's surprised us before would be the retort you could imagine Elizabeth throwing back at her sister.

"There are a lot of family members who are willing and able [to look after Jack and Emma]," says Sims. "They'll be well taken care of."

While it is easy to empathize with Elizabeth's feelings, is she right? In the event of death after divorce, what rights does the deceased parent have over the children? Moreover, let us not forget the newest sibling, Frances Quinn. Is there not a moral imperative for that child, regardless of how and to whom she was conceived, to have access to her brothers and sisters?

Scoop via New York Daily News.