Understanding pre-need and special needs guardianships


Florida parents can often be so consumed with the everyday responsibilities of raising their children and managing their families that the thought of future estate planning gets put aside. However, the possibility of tragic accidents or illnesses always exists. For this reason, it is important for families to look ahead and make plans for their children in the unfortunate event that something happens to the parents and the children still require care.

One of the biggest questions when considering this situation is about who will have responsibility for the children. This may often be a family member but does not necessarily have to be a relation. A close friend or other responsible person can also be identified as a guardian. When making this decision ahead of time, this is referred to as a pre-need guardian. The hope is very much that the guardianship will never actually be needed but it is available if it is so. In this way, a pre-need guardianship is similar to insurance.

For families with children who have special needs, the concern about who could care for that child even after the age of 18 can also arise. Special needs guardianships are similar to pre-need guardianships but outline provisions specific to the issues related to the incapacitated individual. The level of disability or incapacitation can vary dramatically from person to person and will impact the ultimate level of responsibility given to the guardian.

The attorneys at The Warnock Law Group, L.L.C. understand the wide range of issues involved in determining pre-need guardianships for minors or special needs adult children.


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