Guardianship

Guardianship for Incapacitated Adults

If an adult is unable to manage his or her affairs and failed to execute a Durable Power of Attorney or Designation of Health Care Surrogate, he or she may need a guardianship in order to appoint someone to manage his or her affairs.

Guardianship is a process by which the court must determine whether the individual is incapacitated and unable to manage his or her financial and/or medical decisions.  After a court hearing, if the individual is determined incapacitated, the court will appoint a Guardian, which may be a spouse, relative, friend, or even a Professional Guardian.  The Guardian will be responsible to report to the court regarding the incapacitated person’s (the “Ward”) finances and care plan on an annual basis.  This is a very detailed process that requires that assistance and guidance of an experienced attorney.  DeBellis Law will manage every step of this process and assist you in anything you need.  We will work closely with you to develop a care plan for your loved one and develop a plan to manage his or her finances.  

 

DeBellis Law frequently deals with children and family members that live out of state.  Living in another state often makes it very difficult to participate in guardianship proceedings, but the attorneys of DeBellis Law will attend all hearings in your stead and make sure that your voice is heard. 
 

Guardian Advocate

Florida has a simplified guardianship process for adults with developmental disabilities who lack the capacity to make decisions regarding their care and finances.  Often, parents of children with developmental disabilities will seek to become a Guardian Advocate after the child turns 18 and the parent no longer has the ability to made decisions for the child.

 

For parents of children with developmental disabilities, it is often essential to go through this process so that you can ensure coordination of their government benefits.  Our firm has extensive experience working with these types of benefits and can assist you in making sure your child has continued eligibility.

Guardianship for Minor Children

Under Florida law, if a minor child (under age 18) has more than $15,000 of assets, a guardianship is required in order to manage those assets.  Typically, this situation arises if the minor receives a personal injury settlement from an accident or injury, or if a minor inherits money from a parent.  DeBellis Law can assist you in setting up a guardianship for a minor child by filing all necessary court documents, attending hearings, and managing ongoing reporting requirements until the child is 18.  When a child receives a significant sum of money, it is important to work with attorneys and financial planners you can trust to safeguard these funds so they can be best utilized for the minor, potentially for the rest of his or her lifetime.

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