Guardianship

AT DEBORAH DOLINER P.A., WE CAN EVALUATE WHETHER A GUARDIANSHIP IS NECESSARY OR IF THERE MAY BE A LESS RESTRICTIVE ALTERNATIVE AVAILABLE TO PROTECT YOUR LOVED ONE.

Sometimes, it is necessary to take steps to protect a loved one because they are unable to do so themselves. While estate planning attorneys strive to avoid the intervention of the courts, some potential clients come to us when it is too late to sign documents. Others come to us in an emergency situation, when a friend or loved one needs a decision to be made or protection from themselves or others. Under Florida law, if an alternate method is available that is less intrusive than a guardianship, it is possible that a guardianship can be avoided. If there is not an alternative available, then it will likely be necessary to implement a guardianship.

A guardianship is a court proceeding in which an individual or a professional is appointed to make decisions for an individual who is not able to do so themselves. There are two types of guardianships: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the property. A guardian of the person makes decisions about the Ward's person. For example, a guardian of the person may make decisions regarding the Ward's care and the Ward's residence. If a medical power of attorney is in effect, in most cases a guardian of the person will not make medical decisions for a ward. A guardian of the property oversees the Ward's finances, making certain that the Ward's funds are secure (typically in a court restricted account) and ensuring that the Ward's bills are paid. Guardians can make certain decisions without consulting the court, while other decisions can only be made after obtaining court approval. Both types of guardians must file annual reports with the court providing information relating to the Ward's care and finances.

At Deborah Doliner P.A., we can help you ascertain whether or not a guardianship is necessary and, if a guardianship is necessary, we can establish the guardianship through the court and provide advice regarding the operation of the guardianship.