No one wants to take away the rights of another individual, especially if that person is close the them.
However, when proper planning (through the utilization of advance directives) has not been done or where planning has gone awry, there may reach a point where it becomes necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of a loved one through that process known as GUARDIANSHIP. Filing for a guardianship over a loved one is a serious matter and if you are contemplating doing that you need to be aware of what it is and how it will affect your loved one and you for many years to come.
What is the “Guardianship Process”?
Obtaining a guardianship can only be accomplished after a judge has determined that your loved one lacks the capacity to functionally handle his/her personal and financial affairs. If this threshold is met then a judge will ascertain if there are less restricted ways of protecting your loved one and if not, the judge will determine who will be the appointed guardian.
The appointed guardian is now responsible for the day to day care and the financial management of your loved one. This person can either be a family member or professional guardian. The court will always look first to family, but when there are disagreements as to who should be appointed or the nature and extent of the guardianship, there can be contested issues that require litigation. Ultimately the guardian reports on your loved one to the judge and must abide by all the rules and regulations that govern the activities of guardians in the State of Florida
Here at LKG Law PA, we have years of experience in helping families sort through these complex issues to tailor outcomes that best suit the needs of your loved one. We can also help you to:
- Set up necessary estate planning documents (like special needs trusts) to ensure your loved one continues to receive government benefits
- Arrange for guardianships of minors who are beneficiaries of inheritances or a settlement
- Apply for VA or Medicaid benefits
- Comply with annual reporting requirements and accounting of assets as mandated by law
- Set up banking depositories and payment schedules
- Assist with the purchase and sale of assets as needed
We can educate you about the various types of guardianships as well as represent you throughout the court process even if the case is highly contested.