A Brief Guide to Obtaining a Guardianship in Florida

When an adult is unable to make decisions on their own, either due to mental disability, severe injury, or other circumstances, Florida courts can appoint someone as their guardian. A guardian is able to make personal, medical, and/or financial decisions on behalf of their ward. The type of decisions that a guardian can make will depend on the severity of the impairment of their ward.

In some cases, guardians only make complex financial decisions for their ward. In others, the guardians will be responsible for virtually every decision, from what type of medical care the ward will  receive to where they will live. Obtaining a guardianship is an important process, and not one that you want to try to handle on your own. The following guide will help you to understand what to expect when seeking a guardianship, but you should still contact ProActive Legal Care Law Office to get the assistance you need:

The first step in becoming a guardian in Florida is to file a Petition to Determine Incapacity with the courts. The court will then appoint three people, who will serve as the examining committee. This committee must include a psychiatrist or a physician, and the others must also be medical professionals. At least one of these medical professionals should be an expert in the specific impairment of the individual in question, and they may not be their primary physician. Each of them will meet with the ward independently to determine their abilities, and then make a report to the courts.

The court will then evaluate all the statements of the committee and make their decision on whether or not you will be named as guardian. In the event that multiple parties are seeking guardianship, the courts will evaluate each claim and choose the individual who will provide the best care for the individual in question. Once the court names a guardian, they can immediately begin making decisions on behalf of their ward. It is important to note, however, that these decisions must be made with the best interests of the ward in mind, and ‘self-serving’ decisions violate the court order.

Seeking guardianship is something that typically has to be done fairly quickly, which is why it is so important to have an attorney helping you through the process. Here at ProActive Legal Care Law Office, we have helped many Florida residents file for, and obtain, guardianship over their loved ones who need this type of care. Don’t put this process off any longer as you want to have the guardianship in place before important decisions need to be made.

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