If you have a child with intellectual or cognitive disabilities that is nearing the age of majority, then you may want to start considering identifying and appointing a guardian for them. Don’t worry! Selecting a guardian for your child won’t take away your ability to care for your son or daughter. It will simply allow you to rest assured knowing that someone else you know and trust will be able to care for your child if you can’t. There are some steps that you’ll want to take to carefully select the right guardian.
As you sit down to make a list of potential candidates for this role, you’ll want to make sure that you have full command of the different decisions that they may be called to make. Anyone that you appoint to the guardian role may have make to medical, financial, personal and social decisions on behalf of your child.
You shouldn’t simply write someone’s name down for the role without talking to them first. You’ll need to let them know virtually everything about your child and their needs. You’ll need to advise them of what their responsibilities would be as a guardian and then ask if they’d feel comfortable having to make such decisions for your child.
It’s important that you don’t just pick one person that could fill this role, but that you select an alternate as well. This will protect you and your child if something happens to your original appointee before you have a chance to update the document.
You should put your choice of guardian in writing once you’ve selected them. You’ll want to include this information in your will. You’ll want to clearly state that you expect this person to step in for your child as their guardian should you pass away before they’re 18. You should also have it state that you want that person to remain in that role after your child turns 18 if they have some type of intellectual disabilities.
Making sure that your special needs child is taken care of is important to you. An attorney in Miami can help you put the necessary wording in your will to ensure that your wishes are upheld in your Florida case.