Estate planning is essential for ensuring everything you have worked for throughout your life is protected and distributed where you want it to go when you’re gone. If you have minor children or adult children with serious disabilities, the most important part of any estate plan is going to be naming a legal guardian to ensure they are properly cared for. Naming a guardian is not something you want to do on a whim. There are many factors you need to consider before making a decision.
Florida Guardianship Laws
One thing that people often overlook when thinking about who to name as a guardian for their children is the laws that regulate this subject. Guardianship is a big legal decision and one that needs to follow the rules established by the State of Florida. The majority of the laws that apply to guardianships are found within chapter 744 of the Florida Legislature. This will cover all the powers and duties of a guardian, general provisions, and much more. You can read the legal information HERE, or contact us to get answers to all your guardianship questions.
Will the person you are considering for guardianship be able to financially support your children? If you have significant savings that can be left to help take care of them, this may not be as big of a concern; but for many people, it will be. Taking on additional mouths to feed can be quite expensive, so the financial aspect of this decision can’t be ignored.
Ethics & Morals
Do the people you are considering as guardians have similar ethics and morals as you? If you are religious, do they share a similar faith that you would want passed down to your children? This is especially important for younger kids, but can apply to any age. You may be very close friends with someone, or even family, but when it comes to your children, they may not be the right choice if their ethics and morals don’t match up with yours.
If your children have grown up in the Miami area their entire lives, you likely don’t want them to have to move far away should you become unable to care for them. This is especially true if they are older and have already become established with their school, friends, and other activities. Of course, there are some circumstances when moving won’t be a disqualifying factor, but it is certainly something you need to think about.
Desire to Assume Responsibility
Even if someone appears to be an ideal candidate to be named as guardian of your child, if they are unwilling to take on this responsibility, they can’t be chosen. Naturally, Miami courts will require that the guardian agrees to this new role. You don’t want to pressure someone into this, so make sure you sit down and talk with those who you are considering to get a real understanding of how they feel about the possibility of being named as a guardian.
Naming a guardian for your minor children is a big decision. If you believe you have the right person in mind, we can help make sure your wishes are legally binding. Contact the Vasquez de Lara Law Group today.