This process consists of three steps.
1. The court must determine the proposed ward’s mental incapacity.
2. The guardian must be officially appointed for the purpose of carrying out the Ward’s personal and/or financial affairs.
3. Accounting must be provided to the court regarding the Ward’s affairs.
Florida law accounts for both voluntary and involuntary guardianships. Voluntary guardianships occur when the ward is mentally competent, but incapable of managing his or her own estate. They voluntarily petition for the appointment of a guardian.
Involuntary Guardianship occurs when another individual files a petition in Probate court, stating that the proposed ward lacks the mental or physical capacity to manage their own person and/or property.
Subsequent to the appointment of a guardian, the ward may lose some or all of following rights:
– The right to Vote
– The right to marry
– The right to travel at will
– The right to seek or retain employment
– The right to have a driver’s license
There are several different forms of guardianship.
Guardianship of the Person:
– The Ward has little or no assets that require guardianship, but their ability to make decisions such as medical care, housing arrangements, and personal care are in question.
– Financial accountings are avoided; however, the court still requires an annual plan summarizing the previous year and detailing proposed care strategies for the following year.
Limited Guardianships and Guardianships of the Property
– The individual in question is capable of making personal decisions, but incapable of making financial decisions.
– Guardian oversees the proper management of assets and makes an annual accounting to the court.
– Also occurs if a minor is beneficiary of an estate and inherits money.
– Also applies to scenarios in which a lawsuit settlement is payable to someone under the age of 18.
– Permission from the court would be required before these funds can be used.
– The guardian is responsible for making annual accountings to the court.
– The ward is incapable of making BOTH financial and personal care decisions.
– Guardian will oversee all decision-making areas.
– Guardian will solicit the court for permission to spend assets for the benefit of the ward.
– Guardian is responsible for accounting the ward’s assets and care.
– A developmentally disabled child turns 18 and is viewed as an adult in the eyes of the law.
– Summary form of guardianship in which the ward’s prior condition and medical reports take the place of an incapacity determination.
– Guardian Ad Litem attorney is appointed to represent the ward and their rights in court.
– Guardian Ad Litem investigates what solutions would be in the best interest of the ward.
Guardianship can be a complicated and difficult process to navigate. The Orlando Law Group specializes in guardianship, and is ready to answer your questions. Call 407.512.4394 for more information, or to schedule a free consultation.