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If you have a loved one who can no longer take care of themselves or a child who lost both parents, you may wonder about guardianship options. The first step is to understand the different types of guardianship available under Florida law. Our Fort Lauderdale guardianship lawyers outline the different types of guardianship and discuss when each would be most appropriate.

What is Guardianship?

A guardian is a person who has been legally appointed to care for another person, known as a ward. The ward can be an incapacitated adult or a minor child. The guardian has the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the ward regarding their medical care, education, and other important aspects of their life. The types of guardianship are designed to meet specific needs.

Types of Guardianship

There are two main types of guardianship in Florida: guardianship of the property and guardianship of the person. Often, both types of guardianship are required, but there are instances where only one is necessary. These types of guardianship can be voluntary or involuntary, meaning that an individual may willingly relinquish their rights to a guardian, or the court can appoint one.

Guardianship of Property

In Florida, guardianship of property is generally used when an individual cannot manage their finances. A guardian of property is responsible for handling duties such as:

● Making sure that the ward’s bills are paid

● Assets are protected.

● Filing tax returns

● Making investment decisions

A property guardian may be appointed for a minor child if their parents are deceased or if the child has inherited a large sum of money. In this case, the guardian would manage the child’s finances until they reach the age of 18.

In the initial stages of establishing guardianship, the guardian must file an initial inventory and verify that it is accurate and complete under oath. They will also need to file annual reports with the court detailing how the ward’s money was spent.

Guardianship of a Person

A guardianship of the person is required when an individual is unable to make their own decisions about medical care, education, and other vital aspects of their life. The guardian will have the authority to make these types of decisions on behalf of the ward and handle duties such as:

● Making sure the ward has a place to live.

● Arranging for medical and mental health care.

● Deciding where the ward will go to school.

● Overseeing the ward’s daily activities.

A guardianship of the person may be necessary if a minor child’s parents are deceased or if the child has special needs. It can also be used for an incapacitated adult with a severe mental illness, developmental disability, or otherwise incapacitated. In some cases, guardianship of the person may be temporary and only required until the individual can make their own decisions again.

An experienced guardianship attorney will be able to help you determine which type of guardianship is right for your situation. They can also assist with the legal process of appointing a guardian and ensure that all the necessary paperwork is filed with the court.

Who Can and Cannot Serve as a Guardian?

Under Florida law, almost any competent adult can serve as a guardian. Commonly, guardians are family members or close friends of the ward. Florida Statutes prohibit the appointment of anyone as a guardian if they have been convicted of a felony, have been judged to be mentally incompetent, or are currently under guardianship themselves.

When to Seek the Guidance of a Guardianship Attorney

Becoming a guardian can be complex, and it is crucial to have an experienced attorney by your side. The attorneys at Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A. have extensive experience handling all types of guardianship matters and can guide you through the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team today through our website or give us a call at (954) 764-7273 to schedule your consultation!

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