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What are the basics of guardianship law in Florida?

There are circumstances in which Florida residents become incapacitated in some way and are, therefore, unable to make decisions regarding their healthcare or finances. When this occurs, a guardian may need to be appointed by a court. So, what are the basics of guardianship law in Florida?

Well, for starters, it is important to point out that a guardian could be needed for either a child or an adult. For instance, when a child’s parents die without naming a guardian in some type of estate planning document, the family member or other person who wishes to step in to take care of the child will need to apply to become a guardian through the court. If that person is so appointed, they will be able to care for the child and make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.

But, there are also situations in which an adult can become incapacitated in some way. When this occurs, a guardian may be needed. The person who will become the subject of the guardianship, known as the “ward,” could apply voluntarily to have a guardian appointed if they have the mental but not the physical ability to take care of their finances. Involuntary guardianship is an option as well, if it can be shown to the court that the potential ward cannot make important decisions due to their incapacitation.

A court will only appoint a guardian in circumstances where no other better option is available. This area of estate planning law can be somewhat complicated, so Florida residents who are involved in a guardianship case will need to make sure they get the most up-to-date and accurate information about the law.

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