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Guardianships protect those who are no longer able to protect themselves. For instance, courts will appoint guardians of minors whose parents have passed away or are no longer able to care for them. Guardians can also be appointed for adults who desire to have another person manage all or a portion of their affairs or who have become incapacitated and require full management over both their person and property. Located in West Palm Beach, Florida, the guardianship attorneys at Shalloway & Shalloway, P.A., have handled hundreds of guardianship proceedings and will provide you with expert answers to all of your guardianship questions.
In Florida, guardianships may be voluntary or involuntary. In either case, the person seeking or requiring a guardianship will need to petition the court to establish the guardianship. There are two types of guardianships over persons and property: limited and plenary. A limited guardianship is where the person who needs the guardian is mentally competent but cannot manage certain aspects of their affairs (e.g., financial transactions). A plenary guardianship refers to a guardianship where the guardian manages each and every aspect of the ward’s (i.e. the person requiring the guardianship) estate or person. Plenary guardianships are the most restrictive type of guardianship and therefore are highly scrutinized by the Florida courts. Seeking a plenary guardianship requires showing that the ward is incapacitated.
Being appointed a guardian of the person means that you will make decisions on behalf of the ward such as: entering into contracts, representing them in lawsuits, making medical decisions, and determining his or her residence. If you are appointed the guardian of the person, you will be required to file certain reports with the court: initial and annual reports. The initial report will lay out for the court your plan for the ward’s social and medical needs. The annual report will lay out any current or foreseeable changes in the ward’s residence, mental health or physical health status, and will include a physician’s statement of the ward’s capacity and current condition. Guardian of the property refers to making decisions such as financial transactions and selling or transferring property subject to court approval. The court will also require inventories and accounting of the ward’s estate.
With all of the court requirements and rules concerning guardianships, it is crucial that you speak with a qualified elder law attorney. The attorneys at Shalloway & Shalloway, P.A., have been helping families and loved ones throughout Florida guardianship proceedings. Contact us today to see how we can help you.