The Benefits Of Appointing A Preneed Guardian
Should you ever become incapacitated, there is a chance that a court could appoint a guardian to manage your affairs. The extent to which the guardian has control over your affairs depends on your disability and situation, but someone will handle those affairs if that time ever comes.
Of course, we all hope we’re never in that situation. But you never know what the future holds, and for those sadly stricken with ailments or illnesses that will slowly deteriorate their minds, that situation is not a question of if, but when.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could designate who your guardian will be now, while you are still able to do so? And to have the peace of mind knowing that should the day come when you need a guardian appointed, it will be someone trustworthy who cares about you and has a personal connection to you?
The Preneed Guardian
You actually can do this, to some extent, through the appointment of a preneed guardian. The appointment, made in writing by you, is often made as part of a larger estate plan. Your appointment can designate multiple people in case anybody that you appoint is unable to serve when your need for a legal guardian arises.
You can even specifically name people who you would not want to be your guardian, in the event there are people you cannot trust or who just aren’t responsible enough to manage your affairs.
Your designation of a preneed guardian has no effect unless you actually ever need a guardian. A preneed guardian designation doesn’t make it more or less likely that a guardian will ever actually be appointed. All you are saying is that if one is needed, this is who you would like it to be.
The Court’s Role
The court has the ultimate say on whether to appoint the person you designate. The person you designate is presumed to be fit, and the court will designate that person, unless for some reason there is evidence that the named person is unfit or unable to serve.
Some people are legally not allowed to serve as a guardian, even if designated. These include people convicted of felonies, anybody with a serious illness that would affect their ability to serve, those who abandoned or neglected a child, and creditors.
For Your Kids
The preneed guardian isn’t just for you—you can also designate, in advance, a guardian for your kids, should you pass away or become too disabled to care for your children. Of course, Florida law must be considered—for example when dad passes away, mom will be the guardian, regardless of if dad designated someone else—but a preneed guardian designation can help in those “what if” situations that could leave your child without responsible surviving parents.
Your estate plan can designate your wishes, should the need for a guardianship arise in the future. We can help with your guardianship questions. Contact the Tampa guardianship lawyers at Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A.