There are four types of scenarios that can result in the need to establish a Guardianship:
- An adult who realizes they are no longer able to make decisions about their care or finances and wants to select a guardian.
- You become concerned that a relative may be incapacitated, not able to make good decisions about their care or finances, or is vulnerable to exploitation.
- You are a parent of a child with a developmental disability who is about to, or has already turned, 18 and you want to ensure that their care and finances are well managed.
- A minor under your care, or that you are assisting, becomes entitled to a beneficial interest in excess of $10,000 and needs help managing their finances.
Simply put, in Florida, a guardianship is necessary when someone becomes incapacitated, as in the scenarios above, or is otherwise unable to adequately manage their own affairs.
The incapacitated person is referred to as a “ward”. The Guardian takes on the responsibility for making decisions regarding the ward’s daily-living, legal and financial affairs.
It is the Guardian’s obligation to make decisions on behalf of, and that are in the best interest of, the ward. Anyone who is over 18 years old, that has never been convicted of a felony, has Florida as their state of primary residence and successfully completes the training course, can be a Guardian. Non-residents of Florida can also be Guardians if they are directly related to the ward (father, mother, grandparent), a legally adopted child or parent, a spouse or other direct relative (brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew) or spouse of a direct relative.
If a relative is unavailable, the court may appoint a professional or public Guardian. All Guardianship matters in the State of Florida require attorney.