Guardianship & Guardian Advocacy
Seeking a Guardianship
Watching a loved one lose their capacity to manage his or her own affairs because of advancing age or illness such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or an injury can be painful and distressful. If you feel that your loved one is no longer able to manage his or her daily decisions, health care, or finances, it may be time to seek a guardianship. Guardianship is governed by Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes.
A guardian is someone who is appointed by the court to make decisions for another person, known as the ward, due to the ward’s incapacity. As a guardian, you can help ensure that your loved one’s basic needs are met and their property (if any) is managed properly.
Seeking a guardianship is a significant step and should not be taken lightly. A guardian acts under close court supervision, and a guardianship can be obtained only after a court hearing.
There are many tools that your loved one may utilize if they are still mentally competent which can avoid the drastic measures to initiate a guardianship including:
- Health care surrogate designation to specify and authorize future medical care.
- Durable powers of attorney to grant decision-making powers to trusted individuals over property or specific matters.
- Trust planning to hold and manage property on the individual’s behalf.
If it is determined that a guardianship is needed, a guardianship may be limited, giving specific powers on behalf of the ward or plenary, granting the right to exercise all the delegable legal rights and powers of the ward.
Whether you have a loved one who may need guardianship assistance, or you yourself are the subject of a guardianship proceeding, contact the Law Office of Jeanette Mora, P.A. for a consultation regarding your Guardianship proceeding. We will make sure your loved one’s legal rights are protected and respected.
Additionally, our firm will continue to assist in handling the annual reporting and annual accounting (if applicable) required by the court. We can guide you through each step of the process.
What is a Guardian Advocate?
Florida statutes allows a Guardian Advocate to be appointed as a less intrusive and costly alternative to full guardianship. However, it is only available for persons with a developmental disability (as explained in (Chapter 393, F.S) or a person with mental illness (as explained in Chapter 394, F.S.). Click on either citation above for access.
A guardian advocate, while always having the discretion to retain counsel, may often proceed without counsel and need not be represented by counsel unless otherwise required by the court or the guardian advocate is delegated any rights regarding property (other than the right to be representative payee for government benefits).