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What is a preneed guardian?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2024 | Estate Planning |

What your estate plan looks like and what kind of estate planning tools are at your disposal depend in part on where you live. All states have some unique laws, and Florida is no exception.

For example, our state allows people to name their own “preneed guardian.” That means you have the right to designate any “competent adult” you choose to “assume the duties of guardian immediately upon an adjudication of incapacity.”

The advantages of naming a preneed guardian

By naming the person who will assume this crucial role while you’re able to make an informed choice, you save your loved ones from potentially battling over that role later when you can no longer express your wishes. Further, if you don’t have any family to assume that role, you can choose a friend or other trusted person. 

That means a court won’t need to step in and name someone you may barely know or even a “professional” guardian who is serving in that role for multiple people. At best, they typically don’t have the necessary time for each person. At worst, they can steal from or defraud people or never check in on them. 

Often, it makes sense to name the person you designate to have power of attorney (POA) over your finances and health care if you become incapacitated. However, you may prefer to place these responsibilities in multiple hands.

Preparing your preneed guardian for the role

As with any person you designate for any responsibility in your estate plan, it’s critical that you have their informed consent to do so. Make sure they fully understand the responsibilities they would be undertaking if they had to assume this role. The same goes for anyone you name as an alternate.

Make sure they can access any necessary documents and information if they need to. It’s also important to be sure they know your wishes and any preplanning you’ve done. For example, if you have long-term-care (LTC) insurance that will help pay for a nursing home, assisted living or in-home care, they need to know about that.

If you have experienced estate planning guidance, you can learn more about designating a preneed guardian and taking other steps to protect your wishes for the future if there comes a time when you’re no longer able to advocate for yourself.


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