There are a lot of people here in Florida, as well as across the nation, who are in their thirties who haven't started drafting their estate plan. So if you're one of those people, you're not alone. But if you're one of those people, we'd like you to consider your situation. Are you married? Do you have children? Because these life events are reason enough to stop doing what everyone else is doing and talk to an estate planning attorney today.
The reason we say this is because of how our state's laws work when it comes to estates and your death. Upon your death, the court will make decisions about any aspect of your estate where you do not have a plan in place. But because estate plans need to cover a multitude of areas, these documents may become incredibly meticulous and may leave you asking your attorney a lot of questions.
One such question that comes up a lot is whether a person should name someone as a guardian for their minor children in the event that both parents should suddenly pass away before their children reach adulthood. People often ask: should I appoint a guardian for my minor children in my will? But the answer the question really relies on what you want for your children after you have passed away.
In order for those here in Melbourne to answer this question for themselves, we'd like you to consider one important question: would you rather a judge, who knows nothing about your situation or desires, make the decision about who should care for your children or would you rather make the decision yourself?
If you'd rather leave the decision up to a Florida judge then you don't have to name a guardian in your will. The courts will instead consider any petitions made by family members and ultimately what is in the best interests of the child before appointing a guardian. If you'd like to have a little more control over the situation and don't trust leaving this decision up to a judge, then you should talk to an attorney about including guardianship provisions in your will.
Source: Leg.state.fl.us, "Title XLIII, Chapter 744, Part III, Section 744.3021 Guardians of minors," Accessed May 1, 2015