When to include a guardianship

Formulating an effective estate plan in Florida is not a one-time act. Documents need revising, adding and deleting as life events dictate. A change in marital status may cause an entire revamp of an estate plan. 

Guardianships are not always a necessity when drafting the first estate plan; however, understanding when to go back and add one is critical. Our staff wants to educate people on what guardianships do. Explore just two of the times it is important to include guardianship in estate plans. 

Becoming a parent 

Having children or adopting children means shifting focus to care for them. Parenthood is one event that should mandate guardianship documents as part of a comprehensive estate plan. A guardianship plan does more than appoint the person or persons to care for minor children in the event of death or incapacitation. These documents also provide for a financial guardian of the children’s share of the estate. Depending on the totality of the situation, sometimes electing someone different to oversee the money for minors works best. 

Caring for a parent 

When parents age, it may become necessary for someone else to step in and care for them, making medical and financial decisions on their behalf. While a guardianship in this situation is technically part of their estate plan, it does not hurt to revisit it as medical realities warrant. More than one person may become a guardian over an aging person, but in any instance, if the documents do not exist when needed, the court may have to intervene. It is best, therefore, to include a guardianship for one’s self as medical conditions dictate. 

Other situations may call for further guardianship documents. We encourage you to visit our website for more information on this and other estate planning needs. 

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