In the event you become incapacitated and you do not have an effective durable power of attorney or other advanced directive, you may be subjected to a guardianship proceeding where the court appoints a guardian to manage your affairs and finances. There are many tools to help you plan in the event you become incapacitated and can no longer manage your own affairs.
Additionally, in the event you die without a surviving spouse and with minor children, your will or Declaration for Pre-Need Guardian for a Minor can advance your wishes as to whom you entrust with your children.
*Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian
The Declaration of a Pre-Need Guardian is a written document, pursuant to Section 744.3045, Florida Statutes, (See below) which states your preference for a guardian of both you and your property if you should become incompetent to manage your own affairs. It is a formal statement and is filed with the Clerk of Court in your county of residence. The declaration must be signed by you in the presence of two attesting witnesses. The Clerk of the Court will produce the declaration if and when a petition for incapacity is filed. The first choice of guardian in Florida is your preference if it can be proven; if not the courts will appoint a blood relative. This creates a presumption that your nominated pre-need guardian is entitled to serve as your guardian. You can then have peace of mind knowing that if you become incapacitated someone you know and trust will take care of you.
*Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian for a minor
The Declaration of a Pre-Need Guardian for a minor is similar to the Declaration of a Pre-Need Guardian in that it is a written document, pursuant to Section 744.3046, Florida Statutes,(See below) in which you designate someone to become your children’s guardian, if you ever become incapacitated. A Court is bound to appoint the person named in the Pre-Need Guardian for a minor, especially when the document is filed with the Clerk of Court. This document, generally, will not deny a natural parent their right to be a custodian.