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Guardianship

Understanding Guardianship in Florida

Guardianship in Florida is designed to look after those who can't care for themselves

If there are people in your life unable to look after themselves, such as incapacitated adults or adult children, you can ensure that they are cared for now, and will be cared for after your death by appointing a guardian for them. That guardian can be you or a family member or loved one. If you have a child with a developmental disability, you must be appointed their guardian once they turn 18 - otherwise, you will not legally be allowed to make decisions for them since they are considered adults. Guardianship may also be needed if you have an elderly family member or friend that perhaps cannot care for himself or herself any longer, due to Alzheimer's, dementia, or other disability. A guardianship can be to protect their person and/or their property, depending upon the person's individual needs. This ensures that your loved one is not exploited, abused or taken advantage of. Whether the guardian is you or someone else, you can be sure that your disabled loved one is cared for and protected.

Guardianship may also required if a minor child inherits more than $15,000.00 from an estate, or receives more than $15,000.00 from a personal injury settlement. The parent of the child may be appointed guardian to safeguard their child's inheritance or settlement until the child becomes an adult.

The reasons for needing a guardian can be numerous. Hiring a Melbourne estate planning attorney to navigate guardianship laws in Florida makes the process much easier on you. At Mommers & Colombo, Attorneys at Law, we have handled guardianship matters for more than 17 years. Our attorneys in Melbourne explain how guardianship works, what you need to do, what the guardian's responsibilities are and how to go about putting a guardian in place. Thereafter, we help the guardian manage the guardian, file required reports with the court, and safeguard the person and property of the Ward (the person under disability).

What is guardianship?

Florida guardianship is designed to protect and take care of individuals (wards) who are unable to care for themselves. An incapacitated person can simply be a child under the age of 18 who receives an inheritance or personal injury settlement, or adults of any age with physical or mental disabilities that make it impossible for them to look after themselves. The guardian is the person appointed by the court to act on behalf of the ward. A limited guardian has a limited amount of rights while a plenary guardian has the ability to exercise all delegable rights of the ward. The guardian is accountable to the courts and must provide regular reports on the financial and overall well-being of the ward in their care. A guardian can be an individual such as a family member, friend, or other loved one, or a professional guardian .

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