Guardianship for a Minor
When does a minor child need a guardianship set up?
A child may need a guardianship set up due to inheriting more than fifteen thousand ($15,000) dollars, by Florida Statute. A single parent may die who has more than fifteen thousand ($15,000) dollars and then his or her child may need a guardianship administered. The deceased parent may not have a Last Will and Testament appointing a guardian, so a court hearing may be needed to set up the guardianship. The minor will need someone to provide for their residence, medical needs, food, and educational needs will need to be provided for by the guardian in a Last Will and Testament.
The single parent may feel that he or she can just provide for a minor child. However, Florida Statute has not allowed the parent to just use the money to care for the child. The legislators have decided that this money is the child’s and not the parent’s money. Therefore, to safeguard the inherited money, the money has to be regulated for by the court and accounted for by the parent by submitting annual plans and reports. The legislators did not want the parent to take the money from the child as his or her own.
Even if the parents were married and subsequently divorced, a guardianship will still need to be set up if the divorced spouse dies, due to inheritance being more than fifteen thousand ($15,000) dollars. It is very important to create a Last Will and Testament and provide for a child’s needs as to guardianship.
Many people do not realize the cost of setting up a guardianship, the annual reports involved with guardianship, and a guardianship class that needs to be attended by the parent who will be the guardian. If the parent was convicted of a felony, then the parent cannot serve as the guardian to the child, and fingerprints need to be conducted for a parent of a child who has inherited more than fifteen thousand ($15,000) dollars. A car that a parent drives may even be worth more than the fifteen thousand dollars that needs to be transferred to a child.
The money obtained by the guardianship can not be used immediately for the child, unless it is for a particular important item such as private school education that the deceased parent may have wanted the child to partake in. If the money needed for the minor is only needed for necessities such as clothing or books, most Judges feel that those expenses should be provided by the surviving parent and are not needed to be taken out of the minor’s, Ward’s, money. The court seeks to maintain the assets in a guardianship for the minor until they reach the age of majority. The guardianship assets cannot be used as child support payments or alimony to help the surviving parent with expenses for the child. Therefore, it is very important to create a revocable trust or Will in advance. Then, those assets would be able to be used to provide for the child during his or her lifetime.
In addition, to creating a guardianship for your child, is it a good idea to create a trust?
It is important to create a trust so that a child does not obtain all of the assets all at once such as receiving a million dollars at the age of 18. The minor could decide to do drugs, gamble, or buy a car or boat for half a million dollars. If there is a trust in place with a trustee that looks over the assets and provides for the child’s health, education, maintenance and support up until the age of 30 and then gives the child a third of the assets, a third at age 35, and a third at age 40. Then, the parent could protect the child from using the assets and money too quickly. Assets such as life insurance proceeds or other assets of the deceased parent can be used for the child’s health, education, maintenance and support until the child becomes of the age that he or she is able to understand the value of the assets to make decisions as to how to allocate the assets properly such as the age of 30, 35, or 40.