If you have an elderly parent, relative, or spouse that is no longer capable of making decisions for themselves or can no longer care for themselves it may be necessary to get a guardianship so that their bills can be paid, they get proper medical treatment and care, and no one exploits them physically or financially.
- Guardianship of Adult (Adult is incapacitated and no longer capable of making decisions and/or caring for themselves due to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or mental condition)
- Guardianship of Minor Child (when parents die, or parents are unfit and can no longer care for the child; or the child receives a settlement)
- Guardian Advocacy (where person is developmentally disabled and unable to make decisions for themselves)
Guardianship of Adult
Do you have an elderly parent, relative, or spouse that is no longer capable of making decisions for themselves and/or can no longer care for themselves? Or, do you have a parent, relative, or spouse that has a mental illness that effects their ability to care for themselves or make decisions? It may be necessary to establish a guardianship in order that their bills can be paid, they can get proper medical treatment and care, and no one exploits them physically or financially. An attorney can help you establish a guardianship. There is a guardian of the person, guardian of the property, and plenary guardian wherein you are guardian of the property and the person.
If you yourself want to be the guardian, you will need to fill out an application for guardian and be finger printed. You will have to disclose whether you have a criminal background, have been fired from a job, or have filed for bankruptcy. Certain things in you past could prevent you from qualifying to be a guardian. If you do not qualify to be guardian, you may petition the court for a professional guardian to serve as the guardian. Florida law has a preference for family members over a professional guardian.
Is the Guardianship contested or uncontested? Will the person you are trying to obtain a guardianship for agree to the guardianship? Or will they fight you regarding this matter? Will family members agree to you being guardian? Or, will they fight you on this matter?
An examining committee consisting of a psychiatrist, psychologist and lay person will be appointed by the court to determine if your loved one is incapacitated.
A good attorney will request that you provide a letter from the treating physician substantiating your claims as to your loved ones’ infirmities and diagnosis.
If a guardianship is established, you will need to file a yearly report to the court as the guardian. You will file a plan regarding the incapacitated person’s health and medical care. You will file an inventory regarding the incapacitated assets and expenses.
Guardian of a Minor Child
Do you have a child that you are caring for such as a grandchild? Does that child have parents that are unfit to care for that child? Or, are the parents deceased? You may need a Guardianship over the minor child in order to care for the child, get the child on your health insurance, enroll the child into school, and make the decisions regarding the child’s life.
Is there a child that has received a financial settlement? Then, a guardianship may be necessary. The guardian would be in charge of the child’s settlement funds.
Do you have a child that is developmentally disabled? You may need to set up a Guardian Advocacy in order that you may care for that child when they turn 18. Or, if the parents of that child are deceased, you may want to set up a guardian advocacy to care for that child.