Pre-need Guardian for Minors
Welcome. One of the biggest fears for any parent is deciding who should care for their child or children, if the worst occurs. Designating a guardian in a Will is one way to name a guardian. However, Florida law provides a procedure that that can assure the outcome will be as you wished.
If a guardian is named in a Will, then a judge would consider that fact, along with other evidence, in determining who will be legally appointed as the guardian. However, the judge will consider other factors to decide whether appointing the person of your choice is in the child’s best interest.
Leaving that question to a judge, who will only hear evidence presented at a one-day hearing, is risky. In other words, who is the best person to make this decision; the parents or the Judge?
Accordingly, it is advisable for parents to execute a pre-need guardian document and file it in the courthouse in the county where the family lives. This takes discretion away from the Judge. If properly done, the pre-need guardian document, assures that the persons the parent has chosen as guardian, will actually be appointed. This would avoid costly and hurtful litigation by family members as to who would best serve the child’s interest. In other words, the question has already been decided by you, and is legally enforceable.