Daytona Beach Guardianships Lawyer
If a child’s parents have died or neither of the parents are able to adequately care for a child, often relatives or close friends step in to help raise the child. In order to have legal recognition of this caretaker relationship, a Guardianship must be obtained. A guardianship may also be necessary for adults with disabilities.
A guardian is a person, institution, or agency appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another individual. The guardian may be given the authority to manage personal and/or financial matters . Each state has specific laws, which govern guardianship proceedings and the guardian’s activities. States also have separate laws and procedures for guardianships for minors and for adults with disabilities.
The attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P. A., have extensive experience helping clients navigate guardianship proceedings. Their compassionate, client-focused attorneys understand that in these situations clients typically have more than enough to deal with at home. That is why they are dedicated to minimizing difficulties with the legal process, so it is as easy and stress free as possible.
When an adult person is no longer able to manage daily tasks, properly care for himself or herself or make essential financial and medical decisions, a guardianship may be granted by the court. For many individuals who want to maintain their independence, these transitions can be difficult and may even be contested. There are two components to involuntary guardianship under Florida’s Chapter 744 statute for adults:
- A determination of incapacity (adjudication hearing), and
- Transfer of rights to another (naming a guardian)
Florida utilizes an examining committee to review the ability of the alleged incapacitated person (AIP) and report their findings to the court. During the adjudication hearing the court may hear testimony from anyone regarding the capacity of the person. The attorney for the AIP may present other expert opinions or testimony in support of the AIP’s abilities. No one can lose his or her civil rights unless a judge orders them removed. If the court finds that the person does not lack capacity, in other words, the person is capable of exercising his civil rights, then the guardianship process ends.
There are a variety of reasons why parents may not be able to provide the care that their minor children need to grow and thrive. In these situations, other relatives or close friends may petition the court for guardianship of the children, giving them the legal authority to make important decisions involving education, health care and even finances. Being recognized as a child’s Legal Guardian allows the person caring for the child to:
- enroll the child in school
- add the child to medical coverage
- be eligible for possible financial assistance from the state
- make decisions about the child’s well being
Who May Serve as a Guardian?
Any adult resident, related or unrelated to the potential ward, of Florida can serve as a guardian. Certain relatives of the ward who do not live in Florida may also serve as guardian. Persons who have been convicted of a felony or who are incapable of carrying out the duties of a guardian cannot be appointed. Individuals who are professional or public guardians can also serve as guardian. Additionally, institutions such as a bank trust department or nonprofit corporation can be appointed guardian, but a bank trust department may only act as guardian of the property. The court gives consideration to the wishes expressed by the incapacitated person in a written declaration of pre-need guardian or at the hearing. The court may not appoint a guardian in some circumstances in which a conflict of interest may occur.
If you have a guardianship matter that you need to address with the courts, it is important to have a knowledgeable legal representative protecting your interests. The dedicated Daytona Beach family law attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. will help you with your case and will fight to protect your rights. Contact us today at 866-785-5470 for a free legal consultation.