When an individual is no longer able to care for themselves or their property and assets, or if a minor child is set to receive an inheritance from the estate of a deceased parent or relative, a guardianship may be necessary. An individual may also voluntarily submit to a guardianship. In a guardianship, the court appoints a guardian to manage the personal affairs and/or property of the incapacitated individual or minor. The guardianship proceeding, from commencement to termination, is court-supervised.

A. Guardianship Administration

Once appointed, the court-appointed guardian has several duties with which he or she must comply. This includes yearly reports and accountings, in addition to acting in the best interest of the incapacitated individual at all times. Understandably, the guardian(s) are held to a very high standard in how they handle this responsibility. It is mandatory under Florida law for a guardian to be represented by counsel. The Guardianship Attorneys at Rosales Lopez have experience in helping court-appointed guardians navigate this tedious but rewarding responsibility and making sure the guardians are compliant throughout the process.

B. Guardianship Litigation

Guardianships are not immune to disputes. Some examples of guardianship litigation include:

Whether the alleged incapacitated person is actually incapacitated (and to what extent there is incapacity);
A dispute as to who should be appointed guardian;
A dispute when the guardian is not fulfilling his or her legal duties to the Ward or when the Ward is not being properly cared for

The Guardianship Attorneys at Rosales Lopez are familiar with these scenarios and the intricacies of guardianship law. If you believe a loved one is being wronged in a guardianship proceeding, or if you believe you or someone you know ought to be a guardian over someone else, contact our office to speak with one of our experienced guardianship attorneys.

C. Guardianships of Minors

Minors cannot inherit property or receive funds in excess of $15,000. If this happens, and there is no trust in place to hold the minor’s property until they turn 18 (you can read about trusts here (link), then a guardianship of the property is necessary. Florida law requires certain settlement amounts to be approved by the court. Moreover, certain settlement amounts require the appointment of a guardian ad litem to help protect the minor’s interests.

In addition, if a minor’s parents are deceased or unable to care for the minor, a guardian of the person may be necessary. The guardian will help the minor with everyday personal affairs, such as medical care and general welfare.

The Guardianship attorneys at Rosales Lopez are experienced in this area of the law and have helped numerous guardians navigate this tedious area of the law.