The Law Office of Evan S. Kass takes pride in handling the delicate matter of guardianship. For most individuals, this is a stressful time and our goal is to help relieve some of that stress.
A guardianship allows a relative, friend, or third party to take care of either a minor child or an adult.
A guardianship may be needed when a child or adult is unable to care for or make decisions for him or herself.
Guardianship of a Minor Child: This guardianship under Florida Statute allows for an adult to take care of a minor child, and also have control of the minor child's property. A guardianship may be needed when a child receives more than $15,000.00 from a settlement or inheritance. A guardianship may also be needed for a minor child if the biological parent(s) becomes unable to care for the child. A guardianship does not substitute for an adoption, as it does not take away the right of the parents to have custody of the child.
Guardianship of an Adult: An adult may need a guardianship for various reasons. Most commonly it is because the adult has an illness or disease that hinders the adult from being able to make decisions or take care of themselves.
Guardian Advocate: If your child has a developmental disability, Florida has created an abbreviated process to obtain a guardianship. If your child has turned or about to turn 18, you may need to become their guardian advocate to ensure your ability to make medical and other decisions for them.
Standby Guardian: Upon a petition by the natural guardians (parents) or a guardian who has already been appointed, the court may appoint a standby guardian of the person or property of a minor or a ward. The standby guardian or alternate shall be empowered to assume the duties of guardianship immediately on the death, removal, or resignation of the guardian of a minor, or on the death or adjudication of incapacity of the last surviving natural guardian of a minor, or upon the death, removal, or resignation of the guardian for an adult.
Pre-Need Guardianship: A Pre-Need Guardianship allows an individual to express his or her desire as who they want to serve as their guardian should they eventually need a guardianship put in place.
If you need to become a guardian for someone, please call us today at 561-932-1686.
Types of Guardianship
*THE INFORMATION BELOW IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD ONLY BE USED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES*
My autistic child is getting ready to turn 18 years old, do I need to become his/her guardian in order to still make decisions for him/her? Yes, once your child turns 18, in the eyes of the law they are allowed to enter into contracts and make decisions for themselves. However, if because of disease or disability they are unable to properly care for and take care of themselves, then you will need a guardianship.
To discuss your particular situation, please call our office at 561-932-1686 to discuss whether a guardianship is needed.
Who may be appointed guardian of an adult? Under Florida Statute 744.309, any resident of the state of Florida who is legally competent and is 18 years of age or older is qualified to act as guardian of a ward. If a family member resides outside of Florida, they may also be eligible to become a guardian.
What are the Duties and Responsibilities of a Guardian?
(1) The guardian of an incapacitated person may exercise only those rights that have been removed from the ward and delegated to the guardian. The guardian of a minor shall exercise the powers of a plenary guardian.
(2) The guardian shall file an initial guardianship report.
(3) The guardian shall file a guardianship report annually.
(4) The guardian of the person shall implement the guardianship plan.
(5) A guardian who is given authority over any property of the ward shall:
(a) Protect and preserve the property and invest it prudently as provided in chapter 518, apply it as provided
in s. 744.397, and account for it faithfully.
(b) Perform all other duties required of him or her by law.
(c) At the termination of the guardianship, deliver the property of the ward to the person lawfully entitled to it.
(6) The guardian shall observe the standards in dealing with the guardianship property that would be observed by a prudent person dealing with the property of another, and, if the guardian has special skills or is named guardian on the basis of representations of special skills or expertise, he or she is under a duty to use those skills.
(7) The guardian, if authorized by the court, shall take possession of all of the ward's property and of the rents, income, issues, and profits from it, whether accruing before or after the guardian's appointment, and of the proceeds arising from the sale, lease, or mortgage of the property or of any part. All of the property and the rents, income, issues, and profits from it are assets in the hands of the guardian for the payment of debts, taxes, claims, charges, and expenses of the guardianship and for the care, support, maintenance, and education of the ward or the ward's dependents, as provided for under the terms of the guardianship plan or by law.
What is a Standby Guardianship? The standby guardian or alternate shall be empowered to assume the duties of guardianship immediately on the death, removal, or resignation of the guardian of a minor, or on the death or adjudication of incapacity of the last surviving natural guardian of a minor, or upon the death, removal, or resignation of the guardian for an adult. The guardian of the ward's property may not be empowered to deal with the ward's property, other than to safeguard it, before issuance of letters of guardianship.
Do I need a Standby Guardian? Depending upon your unique situation, a standby guardian may or may not be necessary. If you feel that like the ward or a minor child would benefit from having as backup person in case something happened to the current guardian or natural guardian(s), then contact our office at 561-932-1686.
If I am here illegally, what would happen to my children if I am detained or deported? In this case, if there aren't any other family members available to care for the children, then the children would have to go into foster care. To prevent this, you may wish to establish a Standby guardianship to ensure that there is someone available to care for your children.
*THE INFORMATION ABOVE IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD ONLY BE USED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES*