Walking You Through The Complexities Of Guardianship Law
When someone is unable to make their own medical, financial or legal decisions, you may need to petition for a guardianship. Guardianships give a trusted individual the ability to make these important decisions on behalf of you or your loved one.
Typically, guardianships are a last resort for many people in Florida. Especially for incapacitated adults, when it is much more efficient to have powers of attorney in place should something happen. When there is no other option, however, petitioning for a guardianship may be unavoidable.
The Law Office of Kenneth J. Louie combines experience in family, estate and probate law to offer thorough guidance in guardianship matters. A guardianship may be voluntary or involuntary. It may also be limited in scope or may cover all decisions that must be made on behalf of the ward. Every case is unique, and an experienced attorney can help you decide the best path forward for you and your family.
If your loved one has lost the ability to make their own decisions and they do not have powers of attorney or other estate planning documents in place, you may have to petition for adult guardianship. This will allow a designated individual to make the necessary financial and medical decisions that the incapacitated adult needs to survive.
In some cases, adult guardianships may be voluntary. If you believe you are losing your ability to make some everyday decisions, you may petition for a legal guardian for yourself. You may also be granted a limited guardianship, where your guardian is only able to make particular decisions on your behalf. This can be useful if, for example, you are still able to make your own medical decisions but require a legal guardian to sort through your financial affairs.
If you are still in sound mind, consider drafting critical estate planning documents such as powers of attorney, health care proxies or trusts while you still can. These tools give you more control of future decision-making and can help you avoid the often complex process of petitioning the court for a guardianship.
Child guardianships typically arise in unavoidable situations, the two most common being:
- Both parents have died or have become incapacitated
- The child received a large sum of money from inheritance, a personal injury award or insurance payout
In these situations, the court may require an appointed guardian to manage the affairs of the child until they are of age. Throughout this process, the court will maintain oversight to ensure the child’s best interests are protected.
In other situations where you need to make critical decisions on behalf of a child, you may also wish to petition for legal guardianship. This may arise when, for example, the child is left in the care of a stepparent or grandparent for an extended period of time. In these situations, you must show the court that granting you legal guardianship is in the best interest of the child.
Let Us Focus On The Legal Process
Guardianship law can be difficult to navigate alone. We provide skilled representation throughout the legal process so you can worry less about the details and more about taking care of your loved one.