Guardianship Basics

Wed, Jan 7, 2015


wheelchairFlorida has many types of guardianships. Often a guardianship protects a senior citizen, a young person, or a person with a disability. However, there are a few obscure types of guardianships that you might also run across. Today we will address elder guardianship.

Often a guardianship is created to protect an elder’s monetary interests. For instance, a parent is no longer able to make good decisions for themselves. A doctor or other professional may suggest that they are not making good decisions and that something may need to be set up to help them do so. Often, power of attorney paperwork or a medical surrogacy can provide the protection needed. However, a guardianship may be necessary, depending on the type of incapacity and/or other various circumstances. Unlike power of attorney or medical surrogacy, a guardianship requires state court involvement.

The Florida Bar says this is the definition of an incapacitated person: An incapacitated person is an adult who has been judicially determined to lack the capacity to manage at least some of his or her property or to meet at least some of the essential health and safety requirements of the person.” It should be noted that not everyone is found to be incapacitated fully; some people are declared partially incapacitated.

The Florida Bar says these are examples of the type of care that a guardian may execute for a ward: “The guardian of the ward’s person may exercise those rights that have been removed from the ward and delegated to the guardian, such as providing medical, mental and personal care services and determining the place and kind of residential setting best suited for the ward.”

An attorney, family member, and/or a financial representative are examples of who may serve as a guardian, although professional guardians offer extensive experience and are familiar with the regular reporting requirements of the court.  SmithLaw does a large variety of guardianship work. A good Florida guardianship lawyer will ensure that your loved one will receive the care they need, and that their assets are protected.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

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