Caring for a loved one is a profound source of fulfillment, whether a child or an adult. The deep connection you establish with the person you care for brings numerous rewards for both of you. 

In certain situations, safeguarding their safety and well-being may require formal approval from the court to assume the role of guardian.

A Vero Beach guardianship lawyer can help file your documents promptly and secure your and your ward’s rights.

Why Choose Us as Your Vero Beach Guardianship Lawyers

We are Lulich & Attorneys, and exceeding your expectations is the core of our mission. We deliver customer service that is second to none, recognizing that your satisfaction is paramount. 

When you choose Lulich & Attorneys, you’re not just hiring lawyers; you’re gaining a committed partner who will tirelessly protect your interests and secure your future.

Trust the legacy of excellence that Lulich & Attorneys has built over the years. We invite you to reach out to us today to discuss how we can serve as your dedicated advocates and problem solvers. 

Guardianship Lawyer

Your peace of mind is our priority, and we are ready to deliver the legal solutions you deserve.

Our testimonials speak volumes about us. 

Clients frequently highlight our prompt and unwavering responsiveness to their needs, genuine courtesy, and unwavering commitment to their cases, whether in estate planning, probate, or real estate affairs. 

When clients return to us for assistance with their subsequent legal matters, it warms our hearts. We deeply value their trust and assure you we are here for you, just as we are for all our clients.

A legal guardian is a person appointed by a court to be responsible for the well-being and decision-making of another, typically a minor child or an adult who cannot make decisions due to incapacity. 

Legal guardianship grants the guardian certain rights and responsibilities, which may include making important decisions related to the person’s health, education, finances, and overall welfare.

Guardianship of a Minor: In the case of a minor child, a legal guardian is responsible for providing care, protection, and making decisions on behalf of the child until they reach the age of majority (usually 18 years old). 

This can occur when parents are unable to care for the child due to various reasons, such as illness, death, or incapacity.

Guardianship of an Incapacitated Adult: When an adult cannot make decisions due to a physical or mental disability, a court may appoint a legal guardian. Some places call this process “guardianship of the incapacitated” or “conservatorship.”

The court selects a legal guardian through a legal proceeding. During this process, the court assesses the situation and determines if the proposed guardian is suitable.

Legal guardians have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the person they are responsible for. They must also follow the court’s instructions and meet reporting requirements.

Becoming a legal guardian is a significant legal responsibility. People consider it when other options like a power of attorney or healthcare directives are not available or appropriate.

Laws regarding guardianship can differ between jurisdictions, so consult a guardianship attorney before proceeding.

What Is Limited Guardianship?

A limited guardianship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints a guardian to make specific decisions and take on responsibilities for an individual deemed incapacitated or unable to handle certain aspects of their life. 

Unlike plenary (full) guardianship, where the guardian has authority over all aspects of the ward’s life, limited guardianship restricts the guardian’s control to specific areas, preserving as much of the ward’s autonomy and decision-making capacity as possible.

What Six Things Does a Guardian Provide?

The role and responsibilities of a legal guardian in Florida can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the type of guardianship established, but some typical duties and responsibilities include:

  1. Decision-Making: A legal guardian may be responsible for making decisions about the individual’s personal, financial, and healthcare aspects under their care. This includes decisions about medical treatment, education, housing, and other significant matters.
  2. Financial Management: If the guardian is a guardian of the estate, they may be responsible for managing the financial affairs and assets of the incapacitated person, including paying bills, managing investments, and ensuring the individual’s economic well-being.
  3. Reporting to the Court: Guardians in Florida are typically required to provide regular reports regarding the well-being of the individual they care for, including information about their living conditions, medical treatment, and financial status.
  4. Ensuring the Ward’s Welfare: Guardians must act in the ward’s best interests and make decisions that promote their well-being and protect their rights.
  5. Legal Advocacy: Guardians may need to represent the ward in legal proceedings, including guardianship hearings and estate matters.
  6. Personal Care: Guardians ensure the ward receives appropriate healthcare, housing, and daily necessities.

The court can tailor the extent of the guardian’s authority to match the specific needs and capabilities of the ward.

Consult an attorney experienced in Florida guardianship law if you are involved in or considering becoming a legal guardian to ensure that you understand your specific duties and responsibilities in your situation.

Florida Guardianship Laws

Florida law mandates guardianship for minors when parents are unable to care for them or if they receive significant assets. For adults, guardianship can start when the person’s decision-making capacity is severely impaired and no less restrictive alternatives are available.

Florida allows both voluntary and involuntary guardianships. Voluntary guardianships are for mentally competent adults who can’t manage their affairs and seek an appointment. The law emphasizes the least restrictive guardianship form, offering limited and plenary options.

Limited guardianships apply when the ward can handle some but not all tasks, while plenary guardianships involve full decision-making authority when the ward is incapable of self-care.

Guardianship is accompanied by a duty to protect the individual’s interests, with court oversight for all guardianships. Florida’s guardianship laws are in Chapter 744 of the Florida Statutes, and court rules further govern relationships among the court, the ward, the guardian, and the attorney. These rules and laws ensure that guardians and attorneys act in the ward’s best interests.

The Guardianship Process

To establish guardianship in Florida, you must start by filing a formal petition with the appropriate court. This document should contain details about the proposed guardian, the individual who may require guardianship due to incapacity, and the reasons for seeking custody.

Assign a Representative: The court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem, an attorney, to act on behalf of the potentially incapacitated individual. This attorney will investigate the case and subsequently provide the court with their opinion on whether guardianship is necessary.

Conduct a Medical Evaluation: The court will order a medical examination to assess the mental and physical condition of the individual. 

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Set a Court Date: After the medical evaluation is complete, the court will schedule a hearing to determine whether guardianship is warranted. All interested parties, including the prospective guardian, the potential ward, and any family members, will receive formal notice of this hearing.

Attend the Hearing: During the hearing, the proposed guardian, the Guardian ad Litem, and any other concerned parties will present testimony and evidence before the judge. 

The judge will decide on the necessity of guardianship and, if required, specify the most appropriate guardianship type.

Provide Inventory: Within 60 days of being appointed as the guardian by the judge, you must submit an inventory to the court detailing the assets and debts of the ward.

Submit Annual Reports: To inform the court about the ward’s status, financial transactions, and other relevant information, you must file annual reports continuously.

This is a general outline of the guardianship process in Florida, and the specific steps and requirements may vary depending on the circumstances of each case. 

Consult with an experienced guardianship attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure compliance with all legal standards for peace of mind during this stressful process.

How Long Does the Florida Guardianship Process Take?

The duration of the Florida guardianship procedure can vary due to the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule. Typically, it spans from several months to over a year to complete. The process may extend over time due to the thorough evaluation of the incapacitated individual, the appointment of a guardian ad litem, and multiple hearings and court appearances.

In Florida, there are specific circumstances when the court will remove a legal guardian, such as if the guardian is acting contrary to the incapacitated person’s best interests or if they become incapable of fulfilling their guardianship duties. 

When someone submits a petition requesting removal to the court, they’ll schedule a hearing to determine whether the guardian should be relieved of their responsibilities.

What Nine Things Does a Vero Beach Guardianship Lawyer Do?

A guardianship lawyer plays a crucial role in establishing and managing a guardianship for a minor or an incapacitated adult. Here’s what a guardianship lawyer can do for you:

  1. Legal Advice: A guardianship lawyer provides legal guidance and advice. They explain the legal requirements, your rights and responsibilities, and available options.
  2. Petition Preparation: A lawyer will help you prepare and file the necessary legal documents, including the guardianship petition. They ensure all required information is included and complies with relevant laws and regulations.
  3. Communication with the Court: Your lawyer will communicate with the court. They will submit required reports, respond to court inquiries, and inform you about court orders and decisions.
  4. Guardian ad Litem Interactions: If the court appoints a Guardian ad Litem (GAL), your lawyer will work with them to ensure a thorough and fair assessment of the situation.
  5. Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: In some cases, guardianship disputes may arise between family members or interested parties. Your lawyer can help negotiate and resolve these conflicts in the ward’s best interests.
  6. Compliance with Legal Requirements: Guardianship involves various legal responsibilities, including financial reporting and asset management. Your lawyer will ensure that you meet all legal requirements and deadlines associated with the guardianship.
  7. Modification or Termination: If circumstances change and you need to modify or terminate the guardianship, your lawyer can assist with the necessary legal procedures.
  8. Protection of Your Interests: Your lawyer will protect your rights and interests throughout the guardianship process, ensuring that your actions align with the ward’s best interests.
  9. Legal Acumen: Guardianship laws and regulations can be complex and vary by jurisdiction. A guardianship lawyer has the knowledge to navigate the legal system effectively.

A guardianship lawyer is vital in helping you navigate the legal aspects of establishing and managing a guardianship. They provide legal advice, assist with paperwork, represent you in court, and ensure compliance with legal requirements while working to protect the ward’s best interests.

Shannon Norvig Vero Beach Guardianship Lawyers

Our Vero Beach Guardianship Lawyers Help You Close an Estate With Confidence

At Lulich & Attorneys, we know how difficult handling the guardianship process can be. Changes are hard for everyone, especially if there is death or illness involved.

Let a Vero Beach guardianship attorney at our firm help you. We can carry the bulk of the weight of settling the estate so you can feel confident that it’s handled properly and know you’re not alone.

Contact us today for a free consultation so we can get started. You can find us at 1612 20th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960, near the Indian River County courthouse, or call (772) 589-5500.

Vero Beach Office

Address: 1612 20th Street,
Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone: 772-589-5500