South Florida Guardianship Legal Services
South Florida Guardianship Program (SFGP) began its legal operations in 1991. Through this program, we provide quality, legal services for the community.
As a private, nonprofit organization, we run a legal department that accords us the chance to provide our clients with exceptional legal services.
Working with South Florida Guardianship Program gives you the privilege of quality legal services set at a fraction of the monies you would spend hiring a private law firm. We provide the following legal services…
At SFGP, we involve ourselves in the practice of guardianship and elder law. Also known as elderly conservatorship, the process comes into effect when a court of law appoints someone to care for an older person who is unable to care for him/herself.
The appointed individual is charged with specific duties as well as responsibilities to the older person. South Florida Guardianship Program also undertakes all related legal issues that stem from the representation of the guardian or ward.
Through our in-house legal department, we provide general legal services fast and effectively.
When Does Someone Need a Guardian?
As we grow old, some people stop being independent and start depending on others.
Some may suffer from memory lapse and might forget to take necessary medications, let themselves go and are unable to maintain regular hygiene. Some may have difficulties managing their finances properly.
In such instances, the elderly person should get a court-appointed guardian to help eliminate said issues.
How Does The Guardianship Process Work?
Every state has it’s own guardianship processes and requirements. On a broader term, the following individuals or entities are at liberty to petition a court to appoint a guardian…
- Elderly persons
- A domestic partner or spouse of the elderly person
- The elder’s relative
- A friend to the elderly individual
- A local government or state agency
The guardianship process can be extensive and complicated since the older adult is set to lose critical rights and to have his/her care entrusted to another individual.
That’s where SFGP’s General Counsel comes to effect to help all parties understand their role and help expedite the court process.
SFGP‘s General Counsel can provide almost immediate access to the probate court system in the event of an emergency. In Florida, the law provides for both limited and plenary adult guardianship.
Limited guardianship: this type of guardianship comes into effect after a court of law finds that the ward can only undertake some, but not every task required to care for the older adult.
And or his property if the older person hasn’t set pre-planned, noted-down instructions for aspects of his/her life.
Plenary guardianship: this is an individual appointed by a court of law to exercise all delectable legal rights, together with powers of the adult ward. The guardianship comes into effect when the legal court finds that the individual is not able to care for themselves.
All adult and minor guardianships are tied to court oversight, especially if they’re incapable of making decisions for themselves. The court takes away their rights to oversee their affairs and picks a guardian in their stead.
The legal authority for wardenship in the state of Florida is set in Chapter 744, Florida Statutes. A court of law rules that the control of the linkage between the guardian, the ward, the court, and the legal practitioner fall in Part III, Probate Rules, Florida Rules of Court.
The statues, together with the rules, describe the obligations and undertakings of guardians, lawyers, and the courts to ensure that they keep the needs and wants of the elderly person.
What Are The Requirements Of Appointing A Guardian
When the court appoints a family member to serve as guardians, the individual will be needed to undergo an eight-hour educational course for guardians.
The designated individual must undergo credit and criminal background checks. He/she will need to file proof of completion with the court.
For non-Florida residents, they will be required to complete the educational course distributed through audiotapes.
Costs: the approximate price to open up a guardianship varies depending on the circumstances of every case. These include; court costs, court-appointed lawyer fees, examining committee fees, and your attorney’s fees.
What Are The Duties Of A Guardian
A guardian’s primary role is to care for the older adult. He/she should put the interests of the elderly person first.
The guardian might also take on duties such as deciding where the elder will live, how he will remain healthy, how to prep a budget based on the elder’s finances, as well as how to arrange for social and recreation contact.
The Pros and Cons of Elderly Guardianship
The need for elderly guardianship is that the elder individual who is unable to care for him/herself receives proper care. Unfortunately, certain drawbacks align with guardianship, including…
Expensive petitions: Guardianship petitions in most instances cost a lot. Many forms need filling, a plethora of procedural requirements, and attending court several times for hearings.
Should there be any opposition to proposed guardianship whether by the elder, or a family member, the process becomes more tedious and involving. In the end, it becomes both emotionally and financially draining for all participants.
Losing Rights: By nature, guardianship requires that the older person in question lose some rights. He/she will lose the right to manage finances, choose who will care for them, and decide where to live.
There is also the risk that the appointed guardian will not act in the best interests of the elderly person.
South Florida Guardianship Program helps both the parties understand what the stakes involve and come up with the best, cost-effective ways to undertake the guardianship process. Elderly guardianships are intricate and carry essential consequences.
If you consider guardianship for yourself or a loved one, and if you’re thinking of serving as a guardian, consult with SFGP, we shall connect you with an attorney specializing in elder law.
Whether you require a guardian for a family member, client, or friend, South Florida Guardianship Program works with attorneys in the community. Please take advantage of our free initial consultations today.