Fort Lauderdale Guardianship Attorneys

As we age, everyday tasks can become increasingly difficult. This can be due to physical limitations, cognitive decline, or even unexpected events. This vulnerability can lead to poor decision-making or even exploitation by others.

At SJF Law Group, we understand the challenges families face when a loved one can no longer manage their affairs or make their own medical decisions. We can help establish a guardianship to protect your loved one’s rights, finances, and ensure proper medical decisions are being made.

Our team here at SJF Law Group is dedicated to helping families navigate this emotional and practical process. Our Fort Lauderdale guardianship lawyers advocate fiercely for both individuals and their families during a difficult time.

What is Guardianship in Florida?

Guardianship is a court-appointed legal responsibility. A legal guardian is someone empowered to make decisions, both financial and medical, and manage the affairs of another person deemed incapable of doing so themself. This is typically due to factors like age, illness, or disability.

There are two main situations where guardianship is established:

  1. Minor’s Property Management: Guardianship ensures proper care for a minor’s property or assets if they receive an amount greater than $15,000.00, as the law considers them incapable of managing it independently.
  2. Adult Care and Decision-Making: Guardianship protects adults who lack the capacity to care for themselves in essential aspects of life. This could involve managing finances, making medical decisions, or handling daily living situations.

When is Guardianship Needed?

Guardianship is considered when an adult lacks the capacity to make informed decisions or care for their essential needs. This could be due to age, illness, or disability.

What are the Steps for Guardianship?

Establishing a guardianship in Florida is a thoughtful process designed to protect adults deemed incapable of making decisions for themselves. It’s important to understand the steps involved before proceeding.

  1. Filing a Petition: An adult, often a family member, initiates the process by petitioning the court to determine the individual’s incapacity. A petition to appoint guardian is filed at the same time.
  2. Evaluation by a Committee: The court appoints a team of three professionals, typically including two doctors and a specialist relevant to the suspected incapacity. This committee examines the individual through physical and mental health evaluations to assess their capabilities.
  3. Independent Legal Representation: The court assigns an attorney to represent the allegedly incapacitated person. This individual has the right to choose their own attorney if they wish.
  4. Committee Findings and Hearing: Each committee member submits a report on their findings. If two or more members conclude the person lacks capacity, a hearing is scheduled.
  5. Determining Incapacity: The court determines the extent of incapacity (total or partial) based on the committee’s reports and presented evidence.
  6. Guardianship Appointment: If incapacity is established, the court appoints a guardian unless there are less restrictive options to safeguard the individual’s well-being.

Who Can Be Your Legal Guardian in Florida?

A legal guardian, appointed by the court, acts on behalf of an individual deemed incapable of making their own decisions. This can be due to age, illness, or disability.

Any adult Florida resident, with or without a familial connection to the incapacitated person, can be a legal guardian, as long as they haven’t been convicted of a felony and are capable of fulfilling the responsibilities.

Certain out-of-state family members may also be eligible.

What Powers Does a Legal Guardian Have?

Florida law prioritizes the least restrictive approach to guardianship. This means a guardian’s power is tailored to the specific needs of the individual and the limitations outlined in their estate plan (if available).

A guardian’s authority can encompass:

  • Property Management: Guardians with property authority must inventory assets, invest them responsibly, use them for the ward’s well-being, and file detailed annual reports with the court. They may also require court approval for specific financial transactions.
  • Medical Decisions: Guardians with authority of the person are responsible for the placement of the ward, providing the court with a plan for their care for the next year, and responsible for the determination of the ward’s social and residential rights, among others.

How We Help Protect the Vulnerable in Guardianship Cases

At SJF Law Group, our Fort Lauderdale guardianship attorneys understand the complexities of seeking guardianship. Recognizing a loved one’s vulnerability can be emotionally difficult, especially when they resist help.

We offer compassionate and patient guidance throughout the guardianship process. Our goals are:

  • Protecting Vulnerable Individuals: We ensure the well-being of those deemed incapable of caring for themselves.
  • Empowering Guardians: We equip guardians with the knowledge and resources they need to fulfill their responsibilities effectively.

SJF Law Group provides comprehensive legal representation for all Florida guardianship matters.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Guardianship Attorney

Guardianship can be an emotional and complex situation, involving legal, medical, and financial considerations. At SJF Law Group, our guardianship attorneys can provide the guidance you need during this challenging time. We are dedicated to providing personalized guidance and unwavering support throughout the guardianship process.

Why Work with a Florida Guardianship Attorney?

An experienced guardianship attorney can:

  • Explain the guardianship process: They’ll walk you through the steps involved in establishing a guardianship.
  • Protect your loved one’s rights: They’ll ensure the legal process is followed correctly and advocate for your loved one’s best interests.
  • Navigate complex legal issues: Guardianships involve financial and medical considerations, and an attorney can provide expert guidance.
  • Reduce your stress: An attorney can handle the legal burden, allowing you to focus on supporting your loved one.

Allow us to be your advocates, your pillars of strength, and your trusted advisors. Contact SJF Law Group today to schedule a consultation, and together, we’ll find compassionate and effective solutions for those you cherish.

Take the first step toward securing your loved ones’ future. Reach out to SJF Law Group now and entrust your family’s care to experienced professionals. Your peace of mind is our priority, and we are dedicated to serving you with understanding and commitment.

Please call us today at 954-580-3690 or submit our online contact form here. We look forward to serving you.

About The Firm

Since 2011, SJF Law Group has been helping clients protect their families with estate planning, probate & trust administration. We pride ourselves on combining the personalized service and attention of a boutique firm, with the talent and legal acumen of a large firm.

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