Today many individuals are marrying later and life, and it’s not uncommon for individuals and couples to have children well into their late-30s, 40s, and even 50s. Although having and raising children is possible later in life, unique issues arise when individuals and couples choose to have children later in life. It becomes even more important to ensure your loved ones will be financially protected in the event of an untimely death or incapacity. That’s why working with an experienced Daytona Beach attorney to choose a guardian for your children in advance of needing one (called a “preneed guardian”) is important.
Understand the Guardianship Role
A guardian is an individual appointed by the court to make important decisions on behalf of those unable to do so themselves due to injury, illness, incapacity (which includes being a minor), or death. The guardian of the person makes decisions regarding healthcare, education, residency, and day to day decisions about the person. The guardian of the property makes decisions about the finances of the person. The same person can serve as guardian of the person and property, or you can choose different people to serve as guardian of the person and guardian of the property.
Guardians can be friends, family members, or other loved ones, so long as they meet certain age and other criteria which includes but is not limited to being over the age of 18, not having a felony conviction, being able to discharge the duties of a guardian, among other things. It’s essential to choose a trusted and dependable guardian who is willing and able to carry out your express wishes if called upon.
Create a Comprehensive Estate Plan
An essential function of an estate plan when you have minor children is to guarantee your children will be well cared for and financially protected as they grow up. Without a detailed plan, the court will choose a guardian for your children instead of you.
In addition to a preneed guardian, you may wish to consider establishing a trust. This sets aside assets and allows them to be allocated for specific use, such as tuition and education expenses, savings, and living expenses.
Contemplating death or incapacitation is not a pleasant thought, especially when the welfare of young children is involved. However, the process doesn’t have to be stressful or traumatic. A qualified attorney in Daytona Beach, FL, who is well versed in guardianship, can address all of your questions and concerns in this regard.
Determine Your Next Steps
We’ve guided countless Volusia County and Flagler County residents through the steps of guardianship, as well as other legal practice areas, such as estate planning, probate, divorce, family law, and more. Our qualified and friendly attorney is always happy to address any questions or concerns you may have. We want you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable in the process.
Contact Wendy A. Mara of Mara Law, P.A. at 386-672-8081 today to schedule a consultation in DeLand, Ormond Beach, and Palm Coast.