When creating your estate plan, you hope your loved ones will not need it for a long time. However, having a plan in place will give you (and your loved ones) peace of mind.
As you consider your estate plan, you may first think about property and other assets. You may also want to consider including a plan for care for your minor children.
Here’s what you should know about including guardianship and other solutions for providing care for your minor children after you pass away.
Is having godparents enough?
Naming godparents for a child is a meaningful part of many religions and cultures; however, appointing a godparent usually does not meet the legal requirements for someone to become the guardian of a child. In Florida, if you do not have a legally binding guardianship plan, courts will look to other family members to undertake the care of your children.
In some cases, if your children have a strong bond with a close family friend, the court may consider a non-family member to appoint as a guardian. However, the court’s consideration is based on the connection between the child and the family friend, not on whether they were named as a godparent.
Creating a guardianship agreement
Before you start making an agreement with a friend or extended family member to care for your child after you pass away, you should talk to the prospective guardians. Assuming care of a minor child is a significant commitment. Your loved one may not be prepared to commit their time, money or energy to raise a child.
In some cases, you could appoint more than one guardian, making one responsible for the child and requesting the other to manage the child’s property and finances.
When you include care for your children in your estate plan, you can create the support you want your child to have if you pass away while they are still a minor.