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What is a preneed guardian?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2022 | Estate Planning |

As a Florida parent, you want to know that your child will be taken care of if something happens to you. This can be done through the appointment of a preneed guardian.

The purpose of appointing a preneed guardian is to have someone who is willing to step into this role if necessary. Florida law allows both natural and adoptive parents to appoint a preneed guardian for their child.

Who can serve as a preneed guardian?

Your first step is determining who you would like to serve as your preneed guardian. It can be any Florida resident who is over 18 and has not been convicted of a felony or engaged in child abuse or neglect.

Your preneed guardian should be someone you trust and whom you expect will be available to serve as guardian until your child reaches the age of majority.

For example, you might want to appoint your mother as your preneed guardian, but if there is a realistic chance she may pass away before your child turns 18, she may not be the best choice.

Next steps after choosing your preneed guardian

Once you have chosen your preneed guardian, you file a declaration of preneed guardian with the court. The form must be filled out completely and correctly, so it might be best to have assistance.

If you and the child’s other parent both die while your child is still a minor, a petition must be filed to appoint the preneed guardian. The preneed guardian must confirm the appointment within 20 days before they can begin acting on behalf of your child.

Your preneed guardian then becomes your child’s legal guardian, assuming authority of the child’s person and property. This means they must make medical or personal decisions for them and preserve any property belonging to them.

Benefits of appointing a preneed guardian

When the child reaches the age of majority, the guardianship ends, and any property goes to the child.

Appointing a preneed guardian for your child can give you peace of mind and assurance that they will be cared for in your absence.