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Naming a “preneed guardian” can give you peace of mind

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Estate Planning

While most people think of estate planning as designating what will become of their assets when they’re gone, it can and should also involve planning for a time when you may be unable to care for – or even speak for — yourself and need a trusted person to step in and take over important responsibilities and decisions. 

A solid estate plan should include a designated person to have power of attorney (POA) over your finances as well as one to have POA over your health care. Along with these designations, putting an advance directive in place to detail your wishes regarding end-of-life care will help the person you’ve given POA over it to advocate for your wishes. 

How does Florida law define a preneed guardian?

As a Florida resident, you also have the ability to name a “preneed guardian.” Under Florida law, this is someone who will “assume the duties of guardian immediately upon an adjudication of incapacity.” 

By being able to name your guardian, you can have peace of mind that the person caring for you if you suffer a serious injury or illness will be someone you know and trust. This will also prevent your family from having to go to court to have someone named as a guardian or potentially dispute who will have this role. In a worst-case scenario, it can help you avoid having a professional guardian assigned whom you don’t even know.

Choosing your preneed guardian

It can make sense to name the person whom you’re giving POA over your finances and/or health care, but you may choose someone else within or outside of your family. Even if you name your spouse or an adult child, it’s wise to name an alternate for all of these positions. Of course, it’s critical to check with them first and make sure they understand what an important and potentially time-consuming responsibility they’d be taking on.

It’s a lot to consider. Having experienced estate planning guidance can help you put all the documents in place you need.