Boca Raton Guardianship/Conservatorship Lawyer
In Florida, if your family member becomes incapacitated due to an age-related illness, a mental illness, or an injury, you may have the option of petitioning the court for guardianship. As a guardian, you will have the power to act in a legal capacity for your loved one, known as the ward. Likewise, if you have a family member who is missing and presumed to have died, such as a member of the military who does not return from service, you can petition the court for conservatorship. Below, our Boca Raton guardianship/conservatorship lawyer explains more about these legal definitions.
What Is a Guardian?
The Florida Statutes govern legal guardianships. When a person becomes a guardian of another person, who is known as the ward, they have significant responsibilities to make sure the person is cared for. Guardians also have legal authority over certain areas of the ward’s life. Guardianships help make sure people with severe illnesses obtain the medical treatment they need, while also allowing the guardian to have control over the ward’s finances.
When petitioning the court for guardianship, you must prove that the person is incapacitated and cannot handle their own personal or financial matters. The court will then assign a committee of experts to examine the person to determine whether they are actually incapable of managing their affairs on their own.
The committee is typically composed of two doctors and another professional who has the necessary skills to form an opinion about the alleged incapacity. The committee will conduct a physical and mental health exam, as well as a functional assessment of the person who is allegedly incapacitated. A lawyer is sometimes appointed for the potential ward to make sure their rights are protected and to advocate on their behalf in the event the individual does not agree with the guardianship.
What Is a Conservator?
Conservators do not generally have as many rights or responsibilities as guardians. This is largely because conservators are appointed when a person has gone missing or is believed to have disappeared. Instead of looking after the missing person’s financial and personal matters, conservators look after the estate.
You must petition the court to become another person’s conservator just as you do when trying to become someone else’s guardian. You must prove to the court that you would hold an interest in the absentee’s estate if they are deceased, or that you are financially dependent on the absentee. When petitioning the court, you must also provide a list of their next of kin, a summary of the property within the estate of the absentee, and an explanation of why the court should appoint you as the conservator.
Our Guardianship/Conservatorship Lawyer in Boca Raton Can Help With the Process
Being appointed as guardian or conservator can have many benefits for everyone involved, but some obstacles can arise during the process. At SAMUELS WOOD PLLC, our Boca Raton guardianship/conservatorship lawyer can explain what those are and help you overcome them so you have the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 561-864-3371 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more.