Guardianship Lawyer in Orlando
In Florida guardianship proceedings, the court appoints a guardian to manage the affairs of someone determined to be legally incapacitated. The process is complicated, because the court must first review evidence to assess whether guardianship is justified and then determine who is most appropriate to appoint to the position.
When preparations are made in advance, the expense and emotional drain of guardianship proceedings can be avoided. However, if guardianship becomes a necessity, the dedicated team at Sawyer & Sawyer, P.A. will work to make the process as efficient as possible.
When Guardianship is Necessary
If a person’s mental or physical condition prevents them from providing proper self-care or managing their financial affairs, then they need someone to help. Many people assume their spouse or adult children will be easily able to take over, but the law does not automatically allow them to do so. If proper estate planning documents are not in place, then it becomes necessary to seek court intervention and petition for guardianship so someone can gain the legal authority to assist.
Guardianship may also be necessary when the parents of a minor are both deceased or incapacitated or of the minor receives an inheritance or settlement in excess of 15k.
Courts Can Be Reluctant to Appoint a Guardian
Guardianship involves taking away someone’s legal rights and assigning those rights to their guardian. Courts are reluctant to take such severe action if they believe a less restrictive alternative is available. In fact, Florida law requires courts to determine whether a sufficient alternative exists before appointing a guardian.
The court must also appoint a three-person professional committee to conduct mental, physical, and functional examinations to determine whether guardianship is justified due to incapacity.
How to Avoid Guardianship
Estate planning attorneys frequently help clients avoid the need for guardianship proceedings by preparing documents such as a Durable Power of Attorney or Health Care Surrogate Designation or establishing trust arrangements to provide for an individual’s needs.
An Experienced Guardianship Lawyer Can Guide You to the Right Solution
No one wants to contemplate the need for guardianship, but taking preparatory steps can reduce difficulties in the future. The dedicated legal team at Sawyer & Sawyer, P.A. are ready to work with you to find the best options regardless of your stage in the process. We stand by you during troubled times. Contact us today to learn how we could help.