Understanding Guardianships In Florida

In certain situations, a person may require a guardian. A guardian is a court-appointed individual, tasked with the responsibility of making decisions for the person in need (known as the ward). Some of the circumstances requiring a guardian in Florida include:

  • Adult guardianship: A person over the age of 18 who is mentally disabled, usually from injury or disease.
  • Seniors: An elderly person who is no longer able to manage their own affairs, or who can't defend themselves against abuse, neglect or exploitation.
  • Legal guardianship for a child: A guardian advocate can be appointed for a child under the age of 18 if they are going to inherit money from deceased or incapacitated parents, or other occurrences that involve owning property or money.

Becoming A Guardian

Establishing a guardianship is complicated, involving examining boards and court-appointed professionals to make determinations of need and necessity. An experienced DeLand and Volusia County lawyer can walk you through the paperwork and be a sounding board for the many questions and concerns that come up.

Being a guardian involves an incredible amount of time and responsibility, and there are consequences if a guardian does not follow the outlined rules for guardianship, including properly administering funds on behalf of the ward. When a guardianship fails, it's the ward who suffers. A thorough attorney can help make sure the guardian is aware of the complexities of the appointment, which will increase the chances of a successful guardianship.

Making Sure Your Loved One's Best Interest Is The Priority

When families fight among themselves in deciding guardianship of a loved one, there's a strong possibility that a family member won't be appointed guardian. This means your loved one will become a ward of a nonfamily member. The court does not like to put a ward in the hands of a bickering family, so it's in the best interest of everyone involved to work together, and I can help your family come to a decision that is best for your loved one.

When It's Time To Take The Next Step

You can also create a preneed designation of a guardian for yourself which will state who specifically prefer, or do not prefer, to be your guardian if it were to become necessary for you to have one.

If you have been appointed a guardian, or if you want to make clear your wishes for a guardian should the need arise, please contact me for a free initial consultation. You can reach me at 386-490-9233 or via email.