It may become necessary to appoint a guardian for a minor child or a person who is mentally or physical incapacitated. The guardian has the power to make financial and/or personal decisions for the ward (the person who is the subject of the guardianship). Guardianships are typically used in the probate process for heirs who are disabled or under the age of 18 years. However, a guardianship may also be used during a person’s lifetime if that person is unable to manage his or her own affairs.
If you believe you need a guardian for a loved one or you have questions about Florida guardianships, call The Eaton Family Law Firm at 561-420-8500 (24/7) for a free consultation with a West Palm Beach guardianship attorney.
Guardianships for Minors
If you do not designate a guardian for your minor children in your will, the court selects a guardian for you. This may or may not be the person you want raising your child if you should pass away. The easiest way to ensure your child is with the person you desire after your death is to draft and execute a valid Last Will and Testament.
Within your will, you need to appointment someone to care for your child until your child reaches 18 years of age. You may also appoint this person or another person to manage your child’s inheritance until he or she reaches an age you determine in your will.
Guardianship for Adults
In some cases, an adult may need a guardian if the adult has a mental or physical disability. By appointing a guardian for your loved one, you ensure that your loved one will receive the care he or she needs because a trusted person is making those decisions that your loved one cannot make. In an emergency, we can help you petition the court to appoint a guardian in less than a week. Regular proceedings to appoint a guardian usually take about a month to complete. The court requires specific proof
However, applying to appoint a guardian can be a complex undertaking that requires filing detailed forms with the probate court. After the petition is filed, the court will appoint professionals to evaluate the person to determine if he or she needs a guardian. In addition, the court appoints an attorney to represent the person to ensure his or her rights are protected during the guardianship proceedings.
After you are appointed as a guardian, you must file periodic reports with the probate court. The paperwork required by the court can be overwhelming. Hiring a Palm County Beach guardianship attorney can reduce the stress and frustration of filing for and maintaining a guardianship. By hiring an attorney, you can focus your time on caring for your loved one instead of filing paperwork with the court and keeping up with the various laws governing a guardianship.
Are All Guardianships Involuntary?
No, you can voluntarily appoint a guardian to serve if you become unable to manage your personal or financial affairs. By taking steps now to appoint a guardian as part of your estate plan, you can avoid some of the time and cost of a relative or another party applying for an involuntary guardianship after the fact.
Call a West Palm Beach Guardianship Attorney for More Information
To ask questions or make an appointment for a free consultation, contact The Eaton Family Law Firm by calling 561-420-8500 (24/7). We want to help you take steps to protect yourself and your loved one.
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