Guardianships are a method of obtaining legal custody of, or decision-making authority over, another person. A judge appoints a person or agency that will have the power to make decisions for a person who is unable to do so.
There are several types of guardianship actions. Our firm can help you seek guardianship of a minor, a disabled adult child, an elderly person, or a mentally ill person.
A guardian can either be a family member, or a professional guardian who has been court approved to serve in the county. Guardians can be empowered to make financial, placement, or medical decisions. Guardians are required to act in the best interests of the Ward, who is the incapacitated person. Guardians are to provide for the Ward’s well being, and they are accountable to the Court. Guardians are required to use the Ward’s assets to pay for living and medical costs.
Guardianships for the elderly or incapacitated
Often our loved ones become incapacitated due to a stoke, dementia, Alzheimer’s, physical incapacity or mental illness and they can no longer make financial or social decisions for themselves. A guardianship is used when no one has been designated as a health care agent, or if there is a dispute about placement and finances of the incapacitated person. The court appointed guardian will then exercise legal rights for the Ward.
Guardianships for minor children
Guardianships are also used to manage personal injury rewards or inheritances received by children under the age of 18. A family member or parent can be court appointed to manage the child’s finances. Annual accountings to the court are mandatory for all financial guardianships.
Depending on the relationship of an adult with minor children, a guardianship is often implemented so that an adult receives the right to make all decisions for a minor. There are also provisions in the Family Court for certain relatives to obtain decision-making rights over children. Our firm can assist you in either court.
If you would like to speak with an experienced attorney to advise you regarding your divorce, please call us at (941) 893-6400 or contact us online. We look forward to helping you.