There are two types of guardianships for adults. When a guardian is appointed to assist a person in the management of all of their affairs, it is referred to as plenary guardianship. On the other hand if a person only needs assistance with certain affairs, it is called a limited guardianship.
Guardianships may be voluntary and involuntary. In order to seek an involuntary guardianship, a person must file a petition in the county where the person for whom you are seeking the guardianship lives. In the petition you must set forth a basis for believing the person is incapacitated as well as who should be appointed to serve as their guardian. Once the petition is filed, the judge will appoint an attorney to represent the alleged incapacitated person, or the ward, and the judge will appoint an examining committee to assess mental capacity.
The examining committee consists of three people and one of the committee members must be a medical doctor. The person who filed the petition to determine incapacity cannot be part of the committee and none of the committee members can be related to each other or to any of the parties involved. After the committee members submit their reports, the judge holds a hearing to review their findings. If the judge finds that the person lacks capacity and determines that there is no other means to manage their affairs without court involvement, the court will appoint a guardian. There are different types of guardians who may be appointed. Follow the link to learn more about the different types of guardians.
A voluntary guardianship occurs when someone believes that they need assistance to manage their affairs. A person can voluntarily request the court to appoint a guardian over their financial affairs. The only requirement is the request must be accompanied by a physician's declaration stating that the person understands the nature of the guardianship. A voluntary guardianship is monitored by the court just as an involuntary guardianship and a ward, or person for who a guardian has been appointed, has the authority to terminate the guardianship at any time by filing notice with the Court.
The firm offers services to represent wards, guardians, friends and/or family members in connection with guardianship proceedings. Ms. Rountree has handled a variety of guardianship matters, including contested guardianship appointment and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
Follow the link to return to the main page on Florida guardianships.