One of the best things that a parent can do for his or her child is to establish legal guardianship in a will. It is so important to establish guardianship in a will because it lets you – the parent – decide the legal guardianship of your child, in the event of your untimely death. If your will does not provide for guardianship, the Florida courts will be called upon to decide where your children will go (and with whom they will live) if something unexpected happens to you.
The Last Will and Testament is the legal document that contains the guardianship provision. This provision in the will is important if you have minor children because it is the provision where you tell the court which invidivdual or couple you nominate to raise any minor children of yours, in the event of death. By taking time to plan ahead and create a valid will which contains this guardianship provision, it makes your wishes clear and helps prevent a potential battle during the probate process over any minor children. If the other parent of your child is alive, you should make sure that you name the same legal guardian in both of your respective wills – in case both you and your spouse died at the same time. It may also be a good idea to name someone else as an alternate, in the event the named legal guardian is not available (or able) to execute his or her responsibility when the time comes.
When it comes to naming a legal guardian in your will, there are certain considerations that you should always take into account. Those important considerations include the following:
Making sure that your children are kept together following your untimely death and that your children will get along well with the legal guardian’s own children, if he or she has any.
Making sure that the selected guardian holds the same religious beliefs and personal values as you, ensuring that your children will be raised in a manner similar to the way in which you would have raised them.
Ensuring that the selected guardian has secure finances and would be able to support your children financially in the event of your untimely death (although the assets you leave behind will be available to your children).
Making sure that the selected guardian would be emotionally and financially equipped to address your child or children’s special needs (if any).
It is always a good idea to plan ahead for the unexpected. Our attorneys can assist you with drafting a thorough will and other estate planning documents to provide you with peace of mind well into the future.
To schedule a free consultation with our experienced Florida estate planning and probate attorneys, please give us a call at (954) 999-9683, or contact us online today. We have offices in Coral Springs and Delray Beach and we offer virtual consultations as well.
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