A critical value that individuals of all ages treasure—especially seniors—is their independence. From the time most people are born, their parents teach them how to care for themselves until they reach adulthood. Success and happiness are often the result of achievements attained on their own. Independence is instilled in them throughout their life, and the desire to be independent rarely diminishes with age.
However, most people eventually reach a point in which they can no longer make personal and financial decisions for themselves due to weakening mental and physical capability. When this is the case, the need for a court-appointed guardian is vital. Guardianship is a legal method used to safeguard those who are unable to care for their own well-being as a result of incapacity, infancy, or disability.
What is Guardianship?
Traditionally, parents have the legal right to make decisions for their children, and adults have the legal right to make decisions for themselves. Sometimes, however, extenuating circumstances such as age or mental illness prevent this from being possible. When this is the case, someone else needs to step in to take care of the individual in need. In the context of estate planning, a guardian would primarily be responsible for managing finances for another person. Specifics or instructions for this can be provided in your estate plan.
In its most broad definition, guardianship means acquiring the legal authority to make choices for another person. A “guardian” is the person designated by the court to make decisions on behalf of someone else. A court will assign a legal guardian to care for an individual—known as a “ward”—who needs special protection.
The court will need to find that these individuals lack the capacity or ability to do the necessary acts associated with everyday living in order to legally appoint a guardian to provide assistance. Legal guardians, once established, have the authority to make decisions for their ward and represent their ward’s personal and financial interests.
What Does a Guardianship Lawyer Do?
It’s important to note that Florida laws don’t easily allow you to go into someone else’s bank account, pay their bills, sell their property, or transfer their assets to their spouse or children. For security and legal reasons, a court proceeding will be necessary to appoint you as the responsible party over your finances.
However, the process of guardianship takes time, sometimes involves a hefty price, and can cause undue stress to your family member without a legal professional’s assistance. That’s where we come in. The lawyers at Patriot Legal Group can help you understand and deal with this complicated process. Whether you’re planning on taking over a loved one’s finances or you’re an older individual who needs help designating someone to handle your affairs while you still have the capacity to make that decision, guardianship is an essential step.
Appointing someone you trust to make decisions regarding your finances and your medical treatment should you become incapacitated is part of setting up your estate plan. Contact our Orlando guardianship lawyers today.
What’s the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Guardianship?
A power of attorney, which is a legal document that allows someone else to act on your behalf, is often confused with the concept of guardianship. Though they sound similar and have a corresponding purpose, guardianship and power of attorney are two different legal concepts. The most significant difference is when and how they’re created. A power of attorney is produced without court supervision and by the individual who needs assistance when they can still make rational decisions. Conversely, guardianship is established when the individual can no longer make sound decisions and is supervised by the Florida Court System.
Contact a Seasoned Orlando Guardianship Lawyer Today
If you think a guardianship may be necessary or are involved in guardianship proceedings and would like representation to help you understand this often complex and intricate process, contact the Patriot Legal Group’s experienced professionals. Our team of expert lawyers has assisted many clients with their guardianship needs and is dedicated to guiding you and your family with sensitivity and compassion.
At Patriot Legal Group, we intimately understand how overwhelming this process can feel, which is why we’re committed to standing by your side and protecting your legal rights. Our personal approach removes the guesswork and creates a smooth and pain-free process for you and your family. For all your guardianship or other estate planning needs, call (407) 737-7222 or complete our online contact form today!