Florida Guardianship Law
Aging presents several complications, sometimes including the onset of dementia and the inability to care for oneself. In cases such as these, it may be necessary to seek a guardian, a person who makes legal decisions for an incapacitated individual.
At O’Brien & Bennett, we offer services for both child and adult guardianships.
If your minor child has received money through inheritance, personal injury, or for any other reason, a guardianship may need to be established. Under Florida Law, if a minor child receives a lump sum of $15,000 or more, a guardianship is required.
In cases such as these, we will assist you establish legal guardianship over the property of your minor child.
An Adult Guardianship may be required if an individual’s ability to make decisions is impaired to the point where he or she needs another person to assist. Guardianships are used as a last resort measure. They will only be implemented when advance directives (Power of Attorney, Living Will, Health Care Surrogate) are considered unsuitable.
If your child has a developmental disability, you may need to have a guardian advocate appointed. Once your child reaches the age of adulthood, you can no longer decide certain legal matters for him or her.
In such cases, you may need to be appointed as guardian advocate for your child. Once appointed, you will make decisions for your child regarding healthcare, finances, education, etc.
Obtaining a Guardianship
While a guardianship is typically a last resort measure, in certain cases, it is unavoidable.
In the State of Florida, guardianships are governed by Chapter 744, Florida Statutes.
And when arranging for a guardianship, you will file two separate cases with the court:
- Petition to Determine Incapacity
- Petition for Appointment of Guardian
Any competent adult can begin this process in the State of Florida.
Although it may be hard to accept, if your loved one is incapacitated or no longer able to make decisions independently, a guardianship may be necessary.
Guardianships can be either Limited or Plenary
A Limited Guardianship is suitable when the court determines an individual able to care for certain aspects of his or her life. In cases such as this, the guardian’s powers are limited by the court.
A Plenary Guardianship may be needed when the court determines an individual to be incapacitated and unable to care for him or herself. In such an instance, the ward’s civil rights are delegated to the guardian, who will make these decisions.
Contact us, we understand
At O’Brien & Bennett, our experienced and compassionate legal professionals have the tools and knowledge to help you and your loved ones navigate the difficult process of guardianship. While we always hope to find a less restrictive alternative to a guardianship, we will help you along every step of the process. For further questions regarding guardianships, please call us today at 941-316-9200 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Sarasota office.