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The basics of establishing guardianship in Florida

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2023 | Guardianship |

When you set up an adult guardianship, you establish a legal relationship between the guardian and the ward. The ward is the person who has been declared by the court to be legally incapacitated and has lost some of their rights. In many cases, guardianship is the last thing that should be tried and only after all other measures have been attempted. This applies more to adult wards than to children.

Sometimes, it is just not possible for a person to act independently in all aspects of their life so appointing a guardian is the best move when it comes to considering the person’s best interests. The top priority is to do whatever is best for the person who is being considered as the ward so that they can flourish in their life.

What are the responsibilities of a guardian?

It is important to understand that a guardian does not have free reign to do whatever they wish with regard to the ward. The guardian must act strictly according to Florida’s laws and statutes, which means that the guardian must submit consistent reports to the court. The reports are essential because they enable to court to carefully monitor and supervise the ward’s affairs and exactly what the guardian is doing.

If the guardian doesn’t comply with the requirements according to the law, the guardian may be ordered to appear in court to explain themselves as to why they were not compliant. The possible consequence of that action may be sanctions against the guardian up to and including the guardian losing their position. If that doesn’t happen, the judge may discipline the guardian in some other way that they see fit.

What is the guardianship process?

If a guardian is appointed for a person who is not fully capable of functioning independently, it is to protect the ward and their rights from being taken advantage of. Examples of reason for a person to need a guardian are: dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, some sort of developmental disability, a serious chronic illness or another condition that limits the person from taking care of themselves. It is important to understand that before a guardian can be appointed, the potential ward’s incapacity must be proven. Appointing a guardian for the person should be considered a last resort.

Getting the appropriate legal support from a Florida guardianship lawyer

Going through the process to determine if a guardian should be appointed to take care of a person who has some incapacity can be very difficult and stressful. In such a situation, you don’t have to go through it alone. The advice and support of a Florida guardianship lawyer may help a great deal. When you are going through such a personal, emotional situation, it may be helpful to have the support of your lawyer, who can present an objective perspective at such a sensitive time.