WHAT IS A GUARDIANSHIP?
A Guardian is a surrogate-decision maker appointed by the Court to make personal and/or financial decisions for a minor or adult with mental and/or physical disabilities. After adjudication, the subject of the guardianship is termed a "Ward".
WHEN IS A GUARDIANSHIP APPROPRIATE?
Florida law provides for the appointment of a guardian for a minor in circumstances such as where the parents die, are unable to care for a child, or if a child receives an inheritance or proceeds of a lawsuit or insurance policy exceeding the amount parents are allowed by statute to receive on behalf of their child.
A guardianship is appropriate in an adult situation where an adult's ability to conduct their lives and make decisions has been demonstrated to the court to be in jeopardy or impaired. Adult guardianship is the process by which the Court finds an individual's ability to make decisions is impaired, therefore the Court gives the right to make decisions to another person or entity.
A guardianship is only warranted when there is a no less restrictive mechanism, such as a durable power of attorney, a trust, a health care surrogate or proxy, or another form of pre-need directive. Legislative intent establishes that the least restrictive form of guardianship is desirable, if it is in the best interest of the Ward.
GUARDIANSHIP DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Guardianship is an ethical as well as legal relationship with many Court-mandated duties and responsibilities involving the very basic rights of another human being. It is of the utmost necessity that an attorney be consulted to represent and advise the guardian in all appropriate, technical, procedural and fiduciary matters relating to the Court. The guardian must proceed with the utmost diligence to take care of the Ward, safeguarding the Ward's numerous rights while preserving the Ward's dignity and improving the quality of the Ward's life.
Guardianship Law is controlled by Chapter 744, Florida Statutes. Procedures for all guardianship proceedings are governed by Florida Probate Rules. Thus, a proper application of guardianship law requires adherence to the Florida Statutes, the applicable local Court Rules, Florida Probate Rules and applicable Court decisions.
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR UNIQUE GUARDIANSHIP CASE
Because there are various types of guardianship cases that range in complexity, it's important to speak with an attorney who will help you understand the specifics of your unique case. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with us. We welcome you to call us at 850-432-7705 or complete our online form here by providing us with the details of your legal needs.