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TALLAHASSEE Guardianship Attorneys

Your Guide to Becoming a Legal Guardian

There are many reasons to seek out legal guardianship. You might want to protect an incapacitated person, a senior family member, and/or a disabled child. Our lawyers at The Virga Law Firm can assist you with all your guardianship needs.

What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship, also known as conservatorship, is a legal process where a guardian is given the rights to make decisions for another person and/or their property due to incapacitation, unfit influence, or suspected fraud. As this process removes an individual’s rights, it is typically only considered an option after other alternatives have been considered.

How Does Florida Define a Guardian?

Adult residents of Florida, either related or unrelated to the individual, can be a guardian – with some exceptions. For instance, if you have been convicted of a felony you cannot become someone’s guardian. Additionally, if there is a conflict of interest presented between a guardian and an individual, the court may refuse the guardianship. The types of guardians Florida allows for include but are not limited to the following:

  • Non-professionals – typically family guardians (can serve up to two people)
  • Professional guardians – might be compensated for their services (can serve three or more individuals)
  • Public guardians – must adhere to the same standards as professional guardians and can only serve individuals with limited financial means and support

What Are Your Responsibilities as a Guardian?

A guardian’s responsibilities vary according to how you will help your guardian. There are two types of guardianship: individual guardianship and property guardianship. As a guardian who is given permission to exercise a person’s rights on his/her behalf, you might provide:

  • Medical services
  • Financial support and decisions
  • Personal care services
  • Residential decisions

This type of guardian must create a guardianship plan and present it to the court along with a physician’s report.

As a guardian who is given authority over an individual’s property, you might assist with:

  • Financial transactions (with court approval)
  • Property inventory
  • Property management and investments

What Is Defined as Incapacitated?

An incapacitated person is an individual who:

  • Lacks the capability to take care of himself/herself
  • Cannot manage his/her property, and/or
  • Does not meet essential health and safety standards

Any adult in Florida can file a petition to determine someone’s incapacity. This decision is then made by three experts, typically two physicians and another individual who has the right training and experience to do so.

To further determine if the person is incapacitated, this individual will be subjected to a physical examination, a mental health examination, and a functional assessment.

Let Our Tallahassee Guardianship Lawyers Assist You

To establish, modify, or enforce a guardianship, contact a lawyer familiar with similar cases. Our Tallahassee guardianship attorneys have the experience and professionalism to guide you through the guardianship process from start to finish.

Let our legal team help you with your guardianship case. Contact our office online today or call us at (850) 307-5211.

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