FAQs about guardianship

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning ensures your loved ones understand your wishes after your passing, but safeguarding minor children or vulnerable adults requires additional considerations.

In Florida, appointing a guardian through your will becomes important. However, the process may prompt some questions.

Who needs a guardian?

Anyone under 18 or deemed mentally incapacitated by a court can benefit from a designated guardian. Over 16 million people live with cognitive impairment, highlighting the potential need for guardianship at any age. Appointing a guardian ensures someone you trust can make important decisions regarding personal care, finances and medical treatment for your loved one in your absence.

Who can be a guardian?

Florida law allows you to choose anyone over 18, residing in the state and deemed fit by the court to be a guardian. Family members, trusted friends or professional guardians are all potential options. Consider factors like age, emotional stability, financial responsibility and compatibility with your wishes and your loved one’s needs when making your selection.

What does a guardian do?

The scope of a guardian’s responsibilities depends on the type of guardianship – personal guardian, guardian of the property or both. A personal guardian makes decisions regarding living arrangements, daily care and medical treatment. A guardian of the property manages finances, investments and assets to benefit the ward. In some cases, one person may fulfill both roles.

What happens if I do not appoint a guardian?

If you die without designating a guardian, the court will appoint one upon petition. This process can be time-consuming and potentially lead to the selection of someone you would not have chosen. Choosing a guardian yourself ensures your loved one receives the care and support you envision, honoring your wishes and providing them with stability and security.

Choosing a guardian is a responsible act that safeguards your loved one’s future. By understanding what guardianship is, you can provide peace of mind for both yourself and your beneficiaries. Remember, effective estate planning ensures your loved ones respect your wishes, honor your legacy and protect your loved ones, paving the way for a secure and meaningful future.