A guardianship can help individuals who are not able to deal with their own affairs in a physical or financial manner. By having a person appointed through a Florida guardianship proceeding, a person or institution (the guardian) is appointed to help an individual (the ward) in those areas where the ward is no longer able to represent his or her own best interests.
A guardianship attorney can either help to represent the individual or represent others to make sure that the proper guardian is chosen and that they fulfill their fiduciary obligations.
At the outset, the Court will determine whether the person is mentally incapacitated. The Court appoints three individuals to serve as members of an examining committee. The examining committee members each meet independently with the alleged incapacitated person to evaluate his or her abilities and make a written report, which is filed with the Court. The Court also appoints an attorney to represent the alleged incapacitated person. The alleged incapacitated person may substitute their own attorney to represent them throughout the proceeding. The Court will determine whether the person is completely incapacitated or has limited capacity.
If the person is determined to be mentally incapacitated, the Court will next determine whether a guardianship of the person, guardianship of the property, or both are needed. A family member who seeks appointment as guardian will need to submit to criminal and credit background checks. After the guardian is appointed, he or she will attend an educational course for guardians.
Our firm can represent you in establishing a guardianship, as well as administering a pending guardianship. Sometimes litigation is necessary in a guardianship matter. Our firm is also experienced in litigating guardianship matters.