Your parents may be aging, and they may soon be in a state where they can no longer care for themselves or make appropriate decisions, especially if they suffer from a condition like dementia or Alzheimer’s. When this happens, it may be necessary to assign a guardian over your parent.
What is a guardian?
A guardian is a person appointed by the court in Florida as a surrogate decision-maker. Guardians have the right to make personal and/or financial decisions for an adult with mental or physical disabilities. The adult who is being overseen is referred to as the “ward.” Guardianship will only be an option if there is no less restricted alternative.
Types of guardianship
Under Florida law, guardianship can be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary guardianship may be established if the ward is mentally competent but cannot manage their estate and voluntarily petitions for guardianship.
Florida law also distinguishes between limited adult guardianship and plenary adult guardianship. Limited guardianship will be established if the ward lacks the capacity to do some, but not all, of the duties necessary to care for themselves and their property; and if the ward does not have pre-planned written instructions for all aspects of their life.
Plenary guardianship will be established if the ward is entirely unable to care for themselves. Plenary guardians have the authority to exercise all the rights and powers of the ward that can be delegated to the guardian.
Learn more about guardianship in Florida
No matter what type of guardianship is established, all guardians in Florida must act in the best interests of the ward. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want further information on guardianship in Florida may find our firm’s website to be a useful resource.