In the State of Florida, A guardianship appointment is where a Probate Court Judge appoints someone who is a surrogate decision-maker entitled to make personal and/or financial decisions for a minor or for an adult with mental and/or physical disabilities.
After a Court decides that someone needs a Guardianship action, and the Court makes a ruling that way, then the person who is the subject of the guardianship is termed a “ward”, for purposes of the Court.
When does someone become a Guardian for a Minor in Probate Court?
Florida law provides for the appointment of a guardian for a minor in circumstances such as where the parents die, are unable to care for a child, or if a child receives an inheritance or proceeds of a lawsuit or insurance policy exceeding the amount parents are allowed by statute to receive on behalf of their child.
How about an adult, when is a Guardian appointed in Probate Court for an adult?
First the Judge must rule that a person no longer has the ability to make appropriate decisions and that his decision making power is impaired. Then, this right to make decisions is given over to someone else, or to an entity that does this sort of thing as a professional. There must be a finding that this is a last resort, that is, that there is really no less restrictive means to permit decisions to be made. This is because our Florida legislators have made it clear that the least restrictive route to go is the best was to go IF it is in the best interest of that ward.
There are very specific and very real duties and responsibilities of a Court appointed Guardian for the ward. This person MUST be sure that an attorney is consulted to represent and advise that Guardian about the technical rules and financial matters that must be reported to the Court about the ward. The Court appointed Guardian must proceed with the highest level of due diligence in order to care for the ward and the ward’s needs, rights and quality of life.
Clearly, this obligation is serious, legally monitored and an extremely important task. Anne V. Alper works closely with colleagues who specialize in this area of the law and who will do the very best job for you, the Court appointed Guardian, or for the ward.
Please consult with us before you proceed in this area. Phone us at 954-547-9174 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne V. Alper, Esquire…Experience, Guidance and Results