Guardianship Administration Attorneys
When an adult or minor is incapable of handling his or her affairs, a court may appoint a guardian to be responsible for financial and personal matters. The decision to seek guardianship is difficult for families, and the duties of the guardian can be complex.
BaumannKangas Estate Law has more than 30 years of experience helping families obtain guardianship orders and guiding guardians through their responsibilities.
We also represent the person alleged to be incapacitated. Sometimes family members seek guardianship when there is no incapacity in order to gain control of a loved one’s finances. They may also mishandle their guardianship duties. Our experienced guardianship administration attorneys will challenge allegations of incapacity when warranted and will fight to remove guardians who act improperly.
All guardianships are closely supervised by the court. Additionally, Florida law requires all guardians to be represented by an attorney.
If an adult is incapacitated, he or she may need a guardian to handle his or her affairs or to make medical or other care decisions. An adult guardianship is commenced by filing a petition with the court asking for a determination that the adult lacks capacity to act for himself or herself. A court-appointed committee of experts examines the allegedly incapacitated person and files a report, after which the court holds a hearing to determine the level of incapacitation, if any. The court has the power to take rights away from an incapacitated person and assign those rights to a guardian.
Guardian of the Person –If, for example, the court determines that the person has dementia and is incapable of making his or her own medical decisions, the court would rule that the person may no longer make medical decisions. The court would appoint a guardian of the person and assign to him or her the power to make medical decisions for the incapacitated person.
Guardian of the Property — Likewise, the court may determine that the person lacks the mental capacity to handle his or her finances. In that case, the court would order that the incapacitated person can no longer do so and would assign that power and responsibility to a guardian of the property.
The parents of a minor ordinarily have the power to handle the minor’s assets and to make all medical decisions. However, if the minor acquires assets worth more than $15,000, the minor may need a court-appointed guardian of the minor’s property. Usually, the court appoints the parents as guardian. However, others may serve as guardian. And, if the minor has no living parents, the court may also appoint a guardian of the minor’s person. That person would have rights to manage the person of the minor, just as a parent would, if the parent were alive.
Florida allows courts to appoint a guardian advocate for people with developmental disabilities who lack the ability to make decisions concerning their health care or personal care. There is no determination of legal incapacity in a guardian advocate appointment. The court only determines that a person with a developmental disability lacks sufficient decision-making capability and needs an advocate.
Our firm represents guardian advocates, people seeking the appointment of a guardian advocate, and people alleged to lack decision-making capabilities.
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If you desire to be appointed as a guardian or guardian advocate, you must file with the court, through your attorney, several documents. One is your recent credit report. Another is an application for appointment as guardian. To download an application, click here.
Your choice of an estate law attorney is vital to successful guardianship administration. Contact BaumannKangas Estate Law for experienced counsel in this complex and often emotional area of law.
BaumannKangas Estate Law specializes in estate planning, estate, trust and guardianship administration and estate and trust litigation in Tampa and throughout Florida.