Watching a parent age is never easy, and it may prove even more difficult if your parent is experiencing dementia or becoming otherwise unable to manage his or her own affairs. To help protect your aging parent, you may consider establishing a Florida guardianship.
Per The Florida Bar, a guardian is a court-appointed individual or entity who takes responsibility for managing the personal affairs of an incapacitated person.
Who may serve as a Florida guardian
Many people who serve as guardians over someone else are family members, but this does not have to be the case. Any Florida adult may serve as your parent’s guardian, regardless of familial relationship. In some instances, you or someone else within your family may be able to take on the guardian role even if you do not live within state lines. Sometimes, the ward, or the party needing the guardian, names someone he or she wants to take on the role before suffering incapacitation. If appropriate, Florida courts typically appoint the individual preferred by the ward.
What a Florida guardian does
It is the role of the guardian to manage your parent’s property. This involves taking inventory of it and then making appropriate investments that benefit the ward in some manner. Your parent’s guardian may also make certain financial transactions on his or her behalf, which may require obtaining court approval first. A guardian typically also has to file detailed annual reports about what he or she does on the ward’s behalf.
Sometimes, you may want to consider other options before a guardianship, as guardianship does take away some of your parent’s rights.