Guardianship is the legal process of appointing another person to manage the affairs, medical decisions, and property of a minor or an incapacitated adult. This process involves the filing of a court petition and requires court oversight, monitoring, and the appointment of either a knowledgeable person or a professional. You should have an attorney to pursue a guardianship action for a loved one or a person in need.
Call us today if you wish to discuss this important and sensitive matter.
Guardianship is a legal proceeding asking a judge to appoint a guardian to look out for the welfare of a ward (someone who can’t take care of themselves). A guardianship removes decision making authority and control that a ward previously had over their assets.
Because guardianship is such a drastic measure, it is important that you look at all sides of the equation impartially, and do what is best for the ward. SmithLaw can handle any guardianship in Florida. Any of our attorneys will serve as your Florida guardianship attorney to guide you through this process.
Guardianships are commonly used for seniors who become unable to manage their affairs late in life (in the event that they have not previously arranged for living trusts/power of attorney, etc), or for a minor. In the case of a minor, it is usually where a minor stands to inherit large amounts of property or money or if their parents are deceased or unable to take care of them.
Any adult resident of Florida can serve as guardian; so can certain appointed institutions. A close relative can also serve as guardian, even if they don’t live in Florida. Convicted felons or people who are ill and can’t do the job cannot be appointed. If the family agrees on a guardian, the Court rarely rejects them.
In some cases, a senior may contest the guardianship. A hearing will then be held to determine whether they are able to manage their own affairs. Sometimes more than one family member will petition for guardianship (this will frequently happen when the senior is affluent). In those cases, a hearing will be held to determine who would best serve as a guardian to the ward in question.
A good Florida guardianship lawyer will ensure that your loved one will receive the care they need, and that their assets are protected. SmithLaw can help you with the entire process of selecting and setting up guardianship. Our services include (but are not limited to):
- Petition the court for the appointment of a guardian
- Handle the incapacity hearing
- Execute an inventory of the Ward’s assets
- Manage assets for the ward
- Prepare initial and annual accountings
- File tax returns
- Establish a monthly budget
- Assist with finding a residential setting for the Ward
- Ensure the Guardian carries out their duties and responsibilities
SmithLaw understands the sensitivity of these procedures. Although we handle these cases daily, we never see it as routine. We are able to develop a process that will work best for you and your loved ones with as little upheaval as possible. Call us today for a free consultation.