Unforeseen life events, such as a debilitating car accident or illness due to old age, can leave someone vulnerable and prevent them from taking care of themselves or their estate. Thankfully, the legal system sets protections in place for those who need support. To know if you have grounds to pursue guardianship, first, you need to understand what guardianship is.
What is a Guardianship?
Guardianship is the legal process in which the court appoints a guardian to take care of the person and/or the property of an incapacitated person.
What are the Types of Guardianship?
There are two forms of guardianship in Florida: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the property. Sometimes only one form of guardianship is required and sometimes both are required.
Who Qualifies to Serve as Guardian?
To qualify as a guardian, you must be of adult age and competent to manage the incapacitated person's affairs. The Florida State Bar specifies that those with a felony conviction cannot be appointed as guardians. Guardians can be authorized to make financial, legal, and healthcare decisions for the ward.
When to Petition for Guardianship
One can petition to be appointed as a guardian of a minor or of an adult. There are various reasons why individuals may be declared incompetent. Some examples where a guardian may be needed include:
- An older person becomes incapacitated by dementia;
- A minor child with deceased parents; or,
- Accident or injury renders someone incapacitated.
How to Petition for Guardianship
To establish guardianship, you must submit a petition to the local court where the alleged ward resides. A local attorney must draft this petition. Florida Probate Rule 5.030 requires every guardian in Florida to be represented by an attorney admitted to practice in Florida. Once the individual is proven incapacitated or otherwise incapable of taking care of themselves, the judge will appoint a guardian.
Contact Our Florida Guardianship Team Today
We understand the complexities of guardianship law and how confusing the process can be. Having a knowledgeable legal team on your side can make a world of difference, and there is no one better for the job than our experienced attorneys at Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A..
To schedule a free consultation with our team, do not hesitate to contact us today through our website or give us a call at (800) 776-3103!