Compassionate guardianship attorneys guide clients through their most emotional family decisions.
The Law Office of Shamika T. Askew is passionate about advocating to protect our clients’ and their families’ rights and best interests throughout the process.
There are times in life when we must rely on others to help care for us or our loved ones, even if we wish we were able to still do so ourselves. Whether guardianship is being appointed voluntarily by the person needing a guardian or involuntarily by the courts, the skilled guardianship attorneys at The Law Office of Shamika T. Askew understand the high level of emotion involved in deciding to have a guardian appointed and we are here to help guide you and your loved ones through the complex guardianship legal process. We will work together with you to determine a complete legal strategy designed around your needs and aimed at reaching your goals for the guardianship.
What is guardianship?
Guardianship is the legal process in which one person is appointed by the court to serve as a legal decision-maker for personal and/or financial decisions of a minor or another adult who has physical or mental disabilities and is incapable of making sound decisions for themselves. The person who is appointed as the decision-maker is called the “guardian” and the person for whom the guardian is responsible is called the “ward”. While making the decision to have a guardian appointed is difficult because of there being a loss of a certain amount of independence, the law tends to favor appointing the least restrictive form of guardianship that will be effective. Whether you are a potential ward thinking of appointing a guardian or are seeking to be appointed as a guardian of a ward, contact an experienced guardianship attorney to discuss your individual needs and goals who can help you determine whether guardianship is the right decision for you.
Who Can Be A Guardian?
In the state of Florida, for an individual to qualify to become a guardian, they must be over the age of 18 and a Florida resident. Additionally, any person seeking to be appointed as a guardian cannot have ever been convicted of a felony. If the individual seeking appointment as a guardian is not a resident of Florida, they may still be able to obtain guardianship if any of the following apply:
- They are related by direct descent to the ward, such as a child or grandchild
- They are the legally adoptive parent or a legally adopted child of the ward
- They are a spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or have some other familial relationship to the ward
- They are the spouse of a person who is otherwise qualified as listed above
Types Of Guardianship
There are two primary types of guardianship – voluntary and involuntary, and the state of Florida recognizes both. Voluntary guardianship is when the ward voluntarily appoints someone else to make legal or financial decisions on their behalf. Involuntary guardianship occurs when a court grants someone guardianship over the other person because of the ward’s physical or mental disabilities.
There are also three different forms of guardianship – limited, temporary, and plenary. Limited and temporary guardianship are the least restrictive forms of guardianship as the ward retains some level or control over decision making, or the ward will regain complete control over decision making at a later point in time. With a limited guardianship the ward is still able to make some, but not all, decisions for themselves. With a temporary guardianship the guardian is appointed over the ward in an emergency and the guardian’s role is limited to a short, specified period. Plenary guardianship is the least restrictive form of guardianship to the guardian, as it allows the guardian to have power over all decision making for the ward’s personal care and finances.
Reasons For Guardianship
There are a variety of different reasons someone may require or need a guardian. Some of the most common examples of situations requiring a guardian to be appointed include:
- A disabled minor child who reaches the age of 18 but is still incapable of making their own legal, financial, and healthcare decisions
- A minor child who has lost their parents from either death or incapacitation needs a guardian, and often another family member is able to obtain guardianship of the minor child
- A minor child who receives an inheritance, proceeds of a lawsuit, or an insurance policy payout that exceeds statutory amounts needs a guardian appointed to be responsible for financial management and decision making
- An elderly adult who is no longer capable of managing their own finances or making sound decisions may be appointed a guardian, often this guardian is one of their children or a younger family member
What A Guardianship Attorney Does
A skilled guardianship attorney can guide their clients through every step of the guardianship process. We assist people seeking a guardianship appointment of someone else and those wanting to appoint a guardian for themselves or a loved one with developing a legal strategy that will fulfill their needs and goals of the guardianship. A guardianship attorney assists with completing and filing the proper legal forms and documents on behalf of the petitioner, ensure the proposed guardian meets necessary requirements, attend guardianship hearings, and assist the guardian in completing and filing the initial inventory of the ward’s assets, the initial guardianship plan, and the required annual guardianship plan and accountings of the plan. The Law Office of Shamika T. Askew is also proud to be a full-service law firm and to have skilled attorneys in all areas of family law, estate planning and probate, and personal injury, and we can assist our guardianship clients with cases such as these which are related to their guardianship case.
Caring guardianship attorneys provide individualized attention to each client while guiding them through the guardianship process
The compassionate guardianship lawyers at The Law Office of Shamika T. Askew genuinely care for their clients and want to walk with them through every step of their guardianship process. It is our passion to help families through their most emotional legal challenges and aide them in finding the solution that is right for them. To schedule your free and confidential legal consultation with one of our skilled guardianship attorneys call us at 813-502-5520 or contact us online. We look forward to working with you soon.