Many people in Miami-Dade County have loved ones who are not fully able to care for themselves. For example, they may have aging or ill parents or adult children who have significant disabilities.
Sometimes this state comes about gradually. Sometimes it happens quite quickly. Too often, people in these situations did not get around to preparing advance directives or otherwise getting their affairs in order while there was still time to do so.
In these cases, a family may need to ask the appropriate Florida court for guardianship over their loved one. In other cases, a guardianship may still be necessary even if a loved one has an attorney in fact or a health care representative in place.
Florida’s rules for setting up a guardianship are detailed. If the court determines a person needs a guardian, then the court will appoint one according to the law.
Consistent with the court’s orders, the guardian then has the power to manage the person’s property and even make decisions about the person’s care and medical treatment.
At the same time, the guardian has several important responsibilities both to the person they are assigned to protect and to the court overseeing the case.
Setting up and managing a guardianship are not simple matters
The law strongly favors allowing people who are able to do so to make their own decisions. Moreover, too many guardians unfortunately have abused their role to take advantage of those they were supposed to help.
As a result, especially if someone objects, courts will insist that those asking for a guardianship prove their reasons for doing so. In other words, guardianships are court proceedings. They involve much more than a matter of getting the proper paperwork in order.
Aside from this, would-be guardians have to follow several technical requirements in Florida’s laws in order to serve. If appointed, a guardian will have to continue to follow Florida’s laws and the court’s orders.
Doing so will require an ongoing understanding of the guardian’s legal responsibilities.