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Guardianship of an Incapacitated Adult
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When a loved one or family member is unable to make daily decisions for themselves, it can be a stressful time for the entire family. If it becomes necessary to have a guardian appointed to make decisions for a loved one, you can depend on Finley Williams Law, PA. Our St. Petersburg guardianship attorney works to make the complicated process of obtaining guardianship of an incapacitated adult less stressful for our clients.
Guardianship for an Adult
A guardian may be appointed to manage the affairs of an incapacitated individual. The guardian has the legal authority to make decisions for the person but is obligated to make decisions that are in the incapacitated person’s best interests. In some cases, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the incapacitated person or that person may choose to have their own attorney represent them.
Guardianship Procedures in Florida
Under Florida law, a person may act as a guardian as long as he or she is over the age of 18 and a Florida resident. Non-residents may be appointed if the person is related by direct descent, a spouse, sibling, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, legally adopted child or adoptive parent of the person, or the spouse of a qualified person. The guardian must not have a prior felony conviction.
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The steps in the process of being appointed guardian include:
- Petition to Determine Capacity – This step is done to establish that a guardian is needed. The court may appoint three individuals to form a committee with one member being a doctor or psychiatrist. Each person must provide a written report to the court
- Petition for Guardian Appointment – This is a petition asking the court to appoint a guardian on behalf of the incapacitated person.
- Application for Appointment as Guardian – In this application, a person is asking the court to appoint him or her as the person’s guardian.
When a family member is appointed to act as guardian, the individual will need to take an eight-hour course for guardians. In addition, the prospective guardian must submit criminal and credit background checks. The guardianship process for an incapacitated adult can be complex, but our St. Petersburg guardianship lawyer can help you through the process.
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