What You Should Know About Filing for Florida Guardianship

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Coping with a family member or loved one who has become unable to make sound decisions for themselves is never easy. And filing for guardianship can be an emotionally challenging and a legally complex process, but oftentimes necessary. There can be a lot of pressure when considering who may be the best individual(s) suited to make decisions on someone else’s behalf.

Whether you are appointing a guardian to help manage the assets of a minor or a disabled adult incapable of making decisions in their own best interest, there is an accompanying component of overseeing that individual’s welfare.

Guardianship in a Nutshell

In Florida, Guardianship is legally obtained and appointed through the circuit courts and governed by Chapter 744, Florida Statutes. A guardian’s role is to care for an individual who is no longer able to do so for themselves, in addition to making decisions (health, financial, etc.) in that individual’s best interest.

The appointed guardian does not have to be a blood relative or even a relative at all. In fact, individuals can plan ahead and legally document who their guardian will be, if they should ever need one. However, that does not necessarily mean that the court will allow that person to serve as a guardian, as they may not be equipped to care for or oversee another individual at that time.

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Filing for Guardianship: Breaking It Down

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In order to file for guardianship, that individual must meet the following basic requirements in Florida, including:

  • The person filing must be over the age of 18 and a Florida resident
  • If they are not a resident, they must have some relation, either marital or biological, to the ward (the incapacitated individual) and have never been convicted of a felony

There are three key documents that must be completed, and in the following order, if you are seeking to be a guardian, including:

  1. A Petition to Determine Incapacity
  2. A Petition for Appointment of Guardian
  3. An Application for Appointment as Guardian

You have to first petition the court to determine someone’s incapacity. Then, the process of gathering sufficient evidentiary support will begin as the court appoints two physicians and one other individual to provide expert opinions and evaluations of the ward’s physical, mental, and functional health.

Helping You Navigate the Process

The process of becoming someone’s guardian is a delicate and emotionally challenging one. When it comes to legalities, gathering the appropriate evidentiary support, and decoding the technical jargon, it can quickly become complex.

Guardianship is one of our main areas of law expertise at The Law Office of Audra Simovitch. Whether you have questions or need a consultation, contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate this process.

Legal Guardianship Solutions Boca Raton

Guardianship is a legal process a family uses to help a loved one who has a mental health disorder. We often associate guardianship with an elderly person who has dementia or Alzheimer and no longer has the capacity to make decisions. This incapacity can also present itself in a younger individual over the age of eighteen (18) years of age who has a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Mental health disorders that can interfere with the ability to make decisions including bipolar, schizoaffective disorder, personality disorders, eating disorders, dementia, alzheimers, traumatic brain injury, long term substance abuse, and PTSD. Call Audra Simovitch guardianship attorney Boca Raton today to discuss how we can help your loved one get into treatment, stay in treatment, become medication complaint and a functioning person in society again.

Learn more about Guardianship:

The Difference Between Guardianship and Healthcare Directives

The Latest on Florida's Vulnerable Adult Statute