St. Petersburg Guardianship Lawyer
Through thoughtful and careful estate planning, the need for a guardianship later in life can often be avoided. Nevertheless, there are times when a guardianship is in the best interests of a person needing help with financial or legal affairs, medical issues or other care needs. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, our St. Petersburg guardianship lawyers represent potential guardians and potential wards throughout the Tampa Bay area. You can count on our knowledgeable and committed team to provide practical legal advice and excellent assistance in the establishment of a guardianship and related matters including estate planning, asset protection, wealth preservation, long-term care planning, and more.
Guardianship of a Child in Florida
If a child’s parents have died or become incapacitated, it falls upon the Florida courts to appoint a guardian to care for the child. In other situations, although a guardianship may not be required, the court may still create one to assist the child in managing finances, such as due to inheritance, a lawsuit judgment or the proceeds from an insurance policy above a certain amount.
Adult Guardianships – Voluntary
A person may be mentally competent yet still recognize the need to have someone else manage his or her affairs. An individual in this situation may seek the appointment of a guardian or consent to one appointed in a guardianship proceeding.
Adult Guardianships – Involuntary
Anyone can initiate the process to have another person declared incompetent and in need of a guardianship. Before this can happen, the individual must be examined by a three-member committee made up of psychologists, physicians, social workers, gerontologists or other experts, which gives its report to the court. Based on this report and other evidence provided by the person seeking to impose the guardianship, the judge must decide whether a guardian is needed. The imposition of a guardian may be opposed by the potential ward in a courtroom hearing.
What does a guardian do?
A guardian has authority to act over a person’s health care, property or both, depending upon the type of guardianship created. The judge imposing the guardianship decides what powers the guardian will be able to exercise over the person or the estate of the ward. Courts typically try to create a guardianship that is as least restrictive as it can be yet still meets the ward’s needs.
Sound Advice and Professional Representation in Tampa Bay Guardianship Proceedings
Our aim at Legacy Protection Lawyers is to conduct thorough estate planning on the front end, including wills, trusts and advance directives, so an involuntary guardianship should never be needed. If the proper estate planning was not done and a guardianship is in the best interests of a ward, rest assured we’ll provide able and effective advice and representation throughout the process to create a practical guardianship that meets the ward’s needs.
To discuss facets of a possible guardianship in the Tampa Bay area, call Legacy Protection Lawyers in St. Petersburg at 727-471-5868 to speak with our knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate guardianship attorneys.