When most people in Florida think about estate planning, they tend to focus on long-term issues and avoiding probate court. One example of this focus is trusts that direct trustees to make distributions based on milestones, such as children graduating from college. While this type of traditional estate planning is important, it does not address potential issues that may unexpectedly arise.
In some situations, couples want to ensure that their minor children are looked after by relatives who live out of state. While this is a guardianship issue that can certainly be addressed as part of the estate plan, it does not specify who should look after the children in case the parents suddenly pass away, and their relatives cannot travel immediately. This is when detailed estate planning comes into play. Absent a legal document that provides instructions as to who should look after the children before guardianship is ordered in court, the kids will have to be cared for by the state.