A guardianship is a legal proceeding in which a guardian is appointed to make the financial decisions of an incapacitated person, or, a minor. In Florida, guardianships are governed by Florida Statutes Chapter 744. Guardianships exist for both adults and children. In an adult guardianship proceeding, the court determines whether an incapacitated person’s ability to make sound decisions over their person and property is impaired such that the court should give the legal right to make these decisions to another person, called a guardian. Guardianship is only appropriate when the court determines that it is the least restrictive alternative available to protect the incapacitated person. Other means of protecting an incapacitated person are durable power of attorney, trusts and health care surrogates.
A guardianship is required in Florida when a minor’s parents pass away or when the minor receives an inheritance, proceeds from a lawsuit or settlement if the proceeds of the settlement exceed $15,000.
Guardianships can be permanent or temporary and can encompass the authority of a guardian to make some, or all, decisions for the ward.
If you feel that a loved one may be in need of a guardianship or have questions about guardianships in general, please call us. We are here for you.