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The Process Of Establishing Guardianship In The State Of Florida


To establish a guardianship within the state of Florida, there is a process that must be followed. Familiarizing yourself with this process, and speaking with an attorney, allows you to establish the appropriate guardianship arrangement.

What Is Guardianship In The State Of Florida?

A guardian is a decision-maker who has been appointed to make personal and/or financial decisions for a particular individual who needs a guardian.

Some examples of the types of people that may need a guardian are as follows:

  • Minors who are under the age of 18.
  • Elderly people with dementia.
  • Mentally handicapped adults who cannot manage their day-to-day activities.
  • Older individuals with a physical handicap.
  • Elderly people who are not of sound mind.

Someone who belongs to one of the categories above qualifies for guardianship. But, assuming they aren’t a minor, they will only be appointed a guardian if other, less-restrictive alternatives – a power of attorney, for example – are incapable of satisfying the level of care that is required for that particular individual.

A guardian ensures that someone who cannot make personal and/or financial decisions on their own is able to live their life in a healthy, secure manner.

If an elderly individual needs a guardian, but does not have one, then they are often more prone to hurting themselves, making poor medical decisions, and/or even being the victim of financially predatory individuals.

What Is The Process Of Establishing Guardianship In The State Of Florida? 

To establish guardianship in the state of Florida, a series of steps must be followed. And, these basic steps are as follows:

  • Developing, and then filing, a petition for incapacity.
  • Conducting a hearing that goes over the facts and evidence.
  • Appointing a guardian.

Regarding the first step, in order for someone to be appointed a legal guardian, they must be incapacitated in one form or another; unable to think and act clearly due to a neurological disease, for example.

To prove that this incapacitation is present, a petition for incapacity must be developed. Right after this petition is developed, the court will go over the petition and examine the allegedly incapacitated individual.

A hearing will be conducted and, throughout this hearing, facts and evidence will be presented. All of these facts and evidence will be used to either support, or contest, the claim of incapacitation.

If the hearing leads to a finding of incapacity, then a guardian will be appointed.

Several different types of guardianships exist within the state of Florida and, as such, the capacity in which a particular guardian can act is dependent on the ways in which the incapacitated individual is incapacitated.

Just as an example, if an individual is capable of managing their finances and going through most aspects of their daily life, but not all of them, then a limited guardian may be appointed.

Speak With A Florida Guardianship Attorney Today 

None of the steps outlined above are easy. To ensure that you, and your loved one, receive the best possible guardianship outcome, you must speak with a Florida guardianship attorney at the Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today.




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