Understanding Guardianship In Florida
Guardianship is the process where a guardian is appointed by the court to manage the affairs of another (a “ward”) when the ward is incapable of managing their own affairs (whether because they are a minor, they become incompetent, or under similar circumstances), and is overseen by the court. The guardian is the person charged with caring for the ward and managing the affairs of the ward.
Generally, the guardian can be in charge of the ward’s person (like a natural parent is the guardian of his or her child), can be in charge of the ward’s property, or can be in charge of both the ward’s person and property. Whatever role the guardian takes on, he or she must work with the court, and make regular reports to the court regarding the ward’s person and/or property.
The guardianship process is tedious and expensive. Proper estate planning can minimize or even eliminate the guardianship process.
We Can Help You Prepare For Life’s Unexpected Challenges
Assume that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself because of an illness. Your family members become concerned about you, and the need for someone to manage your affairs. At this point they will need to hire a lawyer to begin the guardianship process by filing documents with the court. The judge will immediately hire a lawyer to represent you (as the proposed ward), and three medical professionals to make sure that you are unable to manage your affairs. The medical professional will come out to visit you, and ask you things like who the current president is?, what day is it?, and the like. Of course, you will fail their test miserably.
Assuming all goes smoothly, the court will then appoint one of your family members as your guardian, who will then make decisions for your best interests. As they make these decisions, they will need to report to the court on a regular basis about what is going on with you and your affairs. Now guess who gets to pay for all of this. You are right. You get the pleasure of paying for this process.
Don’t Get Caught Unprepared, Work With Our Experienced Attorneys
Williams & Coleman, P.A., is a boutique tax law firm concentrating in tax, business and estate planning matters. Our lawyers can help with designing and implementing an efficient estate plan that will minimize or eliminate the guardianship process. We also can assist the guardian with the guardianship process.