Standby Guardianship - Florida

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Who Can Nominate a Standby Guardian

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 744.3046

Both parents, natural or adoptive, if living, or the surviving parent, may nominate a preneed guardian of the person, property, or both, of the parent's minor child.

How to Establish a Standby Guardian

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 744.3046

The preneed guardian is nominated by making a written declaration that names the guardian to serve if the minor's last surviving parent becomes incapacitated or dies. An alternate to the guardian may also be nominated to act if the designated preneed guardian refuses to serve, renounces the appointment, dies, or becomes incapacitated after the death of the last surviving parent of the minor.

The written declaration must reasonably identify the designated preneed guardian and must be signed by the parents in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses present at the same time. The written declaration must also provide the full name as it appears on the birth certificate or as ordered by a court, date of birth, and Social Security number, if any, for each minor child.

The parent making the declaration must file the declaration with the clerk of the court.

How Standby Authority is Activated

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 744.3046

When a petition for incapacity of the last surviving parent or the appointment of a guardian upon the death of the last surviving parent is filed, the clerk shall produce the declaration. Production of the declaration in a proceeding to determine incapacity of the last surviving parent, or in a proceeding to appoint a guardian upon the death of the last surviving parent, constitutes a rebuttable presumption that the designated preneed guardian is entitled to serve as guardian. The court is not bound to appoint the designated preneed guardian if the designated preneed guardian is found to be unqualified to serve as guardian.

Within 20 days after assumption of duties as guardian, a preneed guardian shall petition for confirmation of appointment. If the court finds the preneed guardian to be qualified to serve as guardian, appointment of the guardian must be confirmed. Each guardian so confirmed shall file an oath in accordance with § 744.347 and shall file a bond, if the court requires a bond. Letters of guardianship must then be issued in the manner provided in § 744.345.

Involvement of the Noncustodial Parent

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 744.3046

Both parents or the surviving parent must consent.

Authority Relationship of the Parent and the Standby

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 744.3046

The preneed guardian shall assume the duties of guardian immediately upon an adjudication of incapacity of the last surviving parent or the death of the last surviving parent.

Withdrawing Guardianship

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 744.3046

If the preneed guardian refuses to serve, a written declaration appointing an alternate preneed guardian constitutes a rebuttable presumption that the alternate preneed guardian is entitled to serve as guardian. The court is not bound to appoint the alternate preneed guardian if the alternate preneed guardian is found to be unqualified to serve as guardian.