Guardianship in the State of Florida
Serving Families Throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.
How Does Guardianship work?
Losing the ability to manage one’s person or property due to Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, mental illness, or other conditions is quite frightening for the person experiencing the change and the family members. Dealing with this kind of loss is a delicate matter requiring a caring and knowledgeable lawyer in this area.
A guardianship is a legal proceeding filed by an interested person concerned about another person’s well-being. In the guardianship proceeding, the Court appoints an examining committee that consists of three members. The committee usually consists of two physicians and another skilled and knowledgeable professional in this area, such as a licensed Social Worker or a psychologist. A guardianship is a severe proceeding because removing a person’s rights is at stake. Some of the rights that can be removed are the right to manage finances, the right to marry, and the right to make medical or mental health decisions. For this reason, the Court appoints an attorney to represent the person to assure that his or her rights are not violated.
After the Court receives the report of the examining committee members and other legal requirements are satisfied, the case is set for hearing. At the hearing, the Court determines whether the person lacks the capacity to manage their person and property. The Court could find that the person can retain some of their rights. So, Guardianship can be limited or plenary.
At the end of the hearing, the Court will appoint a guardian who is qualified to care for the person’s person and property. A guardian can be a family member or a professional guardian. The guardian is required to file an Initial Plan and an Initial Inventory sixty days after the appointment. After that, the guardian has to comply with annual filing requirements.
The guardian is responsible for the care and maintenance of the person and their property and has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the person’s best interest. Being a guardian is a tremendous job. Consequently, the Court can remove the guardian for gross misconduct or mismanagement in the guardian’s role. The guardian may be subject to a suit for breach of fiduciary duty.
IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP.
So you see, there is more than a little pressure on the guardian. As a result, it is essential that the guardian work in concert with Carol L. Grant, an experienced guardianship attorney, to guide the guardian during this process … and avoid all of the hidden landmines.