Is it Possible to Pursue Guardianship Without Attorney Representation?

Tue, Jul 19, 2011

General Legal Issues, Guardianship

Many Floridians have guardianship issues they would like to pursue without an attorney.  However, Florida law requires guardianship cases to be handled with attorney representation. The court will appoint attorney representation for the incapacitated adult or the minor child (the Ward). The person seeking guardianship will need to find separate attorney representation.

Florida law requires that an attorney is involved for all parties because guardianship cases involve such important issues. The courts want to be assured that all parties are adequately represented and making the best possible decisions for the Ward.

Many lawyers specialize in guardianship generally, but some might specialize in specific types of guardianship. Guardianship cases typically involve one or more of the following:

  • Elderly adults
  • Mentally incapacitated adults
  • Minor children due to death of their parents
  • Minor children due to inheritance of an estate more than $15,000
  • VA (Veterans Administration) guardianships.

It is wise to speak with friends, medical professionals, or other attorneys to help find the best lawyers to interview about taking a case. Talk to at least two attorneys prior to choosing the one to represent you in a case. Talk about the firm’s typical type of case, their time frame in handling cases, and their success rate in contested guardianships. Fees should also be discussed, including how they are charged. Some attorneys charge by the hour and some by the case, something that could become a key difference if a case takes more time than expected. There are many documents involved in guardianship cases and the length of time they take to draft can be considerable depending on the details involved. This is an important aspect of the case to discuss with potential attorneys as well.

Finding adequate and helpful attorney representation is key to a properly handled guardianship case. There are many qualified guardianship attorneys in Florida that can handle these cases, including the law offices of Christopher Smith.

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