Question 1: What does a standby guardian do?
Answer: A guardian is someone who takes over your parental rights. Normally, when a court appoints a guardian it means the parent is either dead or is having their parental rights taken away from them. With the standby guardian, parents can name a person who will take over parenting if the parent is unable to care for the child. Standby guardianships do not remove the parent’s rights, but merely allows someone else to take over in the event of an emergency situation.
Question 2: Who can appoint a standby guardian?
Answer: In Florida, a parent or current guardian can nominate someone to serve as a standby guardian, also known as a pre-need guardian. To do so, the parent must create a written form that declares to the standby guardian. The parent must also sign the document in the presence of two witnesses.
Question 3: When does a pre-need guardianship take effect?
Answer: The pre-need guardian can begin serving immediately upon either the parent dying or becoming incapacitated. Once the guardian assumes parental responsibilities, he or she must petition the court within 20 days to approve the guardianship nomination.The court will then determine if the guardian nomination is appropriate, but will generally do so unless it finds the appointment is not in the best interests of the child.