Assisting Florida Residents With Guardianship Disputes
Guardianship is often a necessary precaution that families take to protect their loved ones, should less restrictive means be unavailable. Unfortunately, guardianship is a major responsibility that some people will abuse. There are times when guardianship is unnecessary or when the scope of power involved is such that the guardianship is inappropriate. In these cases, our firm works to help rectify the arrangement and find an optimal solution for you.
The Law Office of Nicole C. Morris, P.A., is a strong advocate for their clients. Our attorney focuses on helping individuals and their loved ones navigate the difficult processes related to guardianship. We understand how important independence is to our neighbors, especially the elderly and vulnerable. Call us today at 561-855-0348.
Is Guardianship Appropriate?
Guardianship proceedings involve multiple steps. Disputes may arise during the process, as well as after a guardian is appointed.
Petition To Determine Capacity
The first phase determines whether or not a proposed ward is incapacitated. In general, minors are presumed to lack capacity, unless the individual is legally emancipated. For adults, after a petition to determine capacity is filed with the court, the judge will appoint a three-member panel of professionals to examine the person who is allegedly incapacitated. If the panel recommends a finding of incapacity, a hearing will be held for a final determination. The alleged incapacitated person has the right to have an attorney.
Petition And Application For Guardianship
If incapacity is determined, a petition for appointment of a guardian is filed, along with an application and a guardian’s oath. In this phase, the court first determines whether a full guardianship is necessary or whether there is a less-restrictive alternative. Here, if one person has applied, the court may or may not choose to appoint that person. If multiple parties have applied, an evidentiary hearing will allow the court to weigh the alternatives.
Disputes may arise regarding the capacity of the individual. Similarly, a person may bring a guardianship petition as a way to control their ward inappropriately. In others, the scope of guardianship may overreach or the person petitioning for guardianship may be ill-equipped to undertake the role. Guardians must provide an annual accounting of finances. Disputes may arise after a guardian is appointed based on improper care or improper handling of finances. The court may remove a guardian itself. Other interested parties, usually family members, may also request a hearing to seek removal of a guardian.
In general, guardianship should be an arrangement of necessity. It places another person in charge of decision-making for the ward, which is a very serious responsibility. The guardian should be capable of understanding the full ramifications of their choices, who has the capacity to provide for the ward when necessary and who has the best interest of the ward in mind.
Fighting For The Best Interests Of You And Your Loved One
If you are concerned that guardianship is inappropriate or needs substantial revision, our firm can help. You can schedule a time to speak with our experienced and compassionate attorney by emailing our office today.