In Florida, guardianship is a legal relationship whereby the court provides a person with the legal authorization to make certain decisions for someone who is unable to make decisions of that type for him or herself. There are different types of guardianships for both adults and minors. Florida Statutes Chapter 744 is applicable for guardianship and lays out the types of guardianship, the appointment of Guardians, and their powers and duties as Guardians.
Understanding the Function of a Guardianship
Guardianships are legal arrangements that require the court to appoint a guardian for a ward, the person for whom the guardian makes decisions. The guardian must be over age 18 and a citizen or legal resident of the United States. There are a number of reasons why the ward may need a guardian. Often, the ward does not have the cognitive ability to make decisions for him or herself, and they cannot give informed consent for medical, personal, or financial matters. Adult guardianship is the process by which the court determines an individual incompetent and appoints a person to make decisions on behalf of the incompetent adult.
Sanchez Law Group, P. A can assist the family in determining whether a limited or plenary guardianship is necessary for an adult. A limited guardianship is appropriate if the court finds the ward lacks the capacity to do some, but not all, of the tasks necessary to care for his or her person or property; while a plenary guardian is a person appointed by the court to exercise all delegable legal rights and powers of the adult ward.
The legislative intent serves to recognize that every individual has unique needs and differing abilities. Its purpose is to promote public welfare by establishing a system that permits incapacitated persons to participate as fully as possible in all decisions affecting them; that assists such persons in meeting the essential requirements for their physical health and safety, protecting their rights, managing their financial resources, and in developing or regaining their abilities to the maximum extent possible; and that accomplishes these objectives through providing, in each case, the form of assistance that least interferes with the legal capacity of a person to act in her or his own behalf. (Florida Statutes 744.1012)
Guardianship of Minors
Guardianship of minors is required under Florida law in circumstances where a child receives an inheritance or proceeds of a lawsuit exceeding the amount allowed by statute. Our attorney and team have years of experience assisting clients with both guardianship and probate and can make both processes smooth and efficient on behalf of the client.
A Guardian Advocate can be established instead of a Guardianship when a person has a disability and a person needs to be identified to make decisions on behalf of the person. The biggest difference between guardianship and guardian advocacy is that a court can appoint a guardian advocate for a disabled person without a formal proceeding to adjudicate the disabled person “incapacitated.”
A Guardian Advocate can be established when a person turns 18 years old. Florida Statutes Chapter 393 within the statutes is considered Florida’s “developmental disabilities statute” and not only defines who is eligible for state-funded services for persons with developmental disabilities but also people for whom guardian advocacy can be used as a decision-making option.
Consult a Trustworthy Guardianship Lawyer
Desiree Sanchez has more than 20 years of legal experience and has a team of paralegals that have developed the knowledge and training to assist Attorney Sanchez on behalf of clients. Our firm will discuss with you all of the statutes that allow Guardianship or Guardian advocates and those statutes that describe the duties and obligations of guardians and attorneys to ensure that the guardians always act in the best interest of the ward, minor, or person who is incapacitated.
Call our office for a Consultation at (407) 500-4444 to discuss your legal needs.