How To Name A Guardian For My Minor Children In Florida
Children are our most precious and valuable “asset.” No parent wants to think about dying prematurely and having no one to take care of their minor children. While merely thinking about leaving your children behind can be frustrating and painful, it is vital to consider naming a guardian for your minor children if you want to protect them in the event of your death or incapacity.
If you do not name a guardian before something happens to you, a Florida court will have the authority to appoint one. However, you may not agree with the court’s selection of the guardian for your kids. For this reason, naming a guardian for your children before it is too late can provide you with much-needed peace of mind.
Contact a St. Petersburg estate planning attorney to talk about your options and discuss how you can name a guardian for your kids in Florida.
What Happens to Your Child if You Die Before Naming a Guardian?
As a parent, you are your child’s legal guardian. However, if you and the child’s other parent die or become incapacitated, the court will appoint a guardian for your minor child unless you have an estate plan in which you have named a guardian for your kids.
After the death or incapacitation of the child’s parents, members of the family interested in the child will petition the court for guardianship. The court will then review the petitions and select the most appropriate guardian for your children. The person appointed as your child’s guardian may not be the same individual you would have named in your estate plan.
When Does Florida Law Require Appointing a Guardian for a Child?
Under Florida law, a court may appoint a guardian for a minor child when the child’s legal guardians (parents) failed to name a guardian before their death or incapacity. Florida law requires courts to appoint a guardian for a minor child in one of the following two situations:
- The child’s both parents pass away or become incapacitated; or
- The child receives a considerable inheritance or proceedings of an insurance policy or lawsuit exceeding $15,000.
In most cases, it is advisable to take the necessary steps to name a guardian for your children before something happens to you because you want to make sure that your child is cared for by someone you can trust.
How to Name a Guardian for Your Child in Florida
If you wish to name a guardian for your children so that a court does not have to do so for you in the event of your death or incapacity, you need to create an estate plan that clearly states your selection of the person who should be named a guardian for your minor kids.
Ideally, you should name a primary and alternate guardian for your children. The alternate person will be appointed a guardian for your children if something happens to your primary choice or they are otherwise unable to assume legal guardianship of the child.
It is best to contact a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to help you create an estate plan and name guardians for your minor children. Schedule a consultation with our attorneys at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to discuss how you can name a guardian for your children in Florida. Call 727-471-5868.