If you are caring for a child or incapacitated family member, it is wise to have a guardianship plan in place in case something happens to prevent you from continuing to provide guidance and care. A Palm City guardianship lawyer can review the details of your situation and assist with the guardianship process, should a guardianship become necessary.
The guardianship process has two major components. First, an investigation and hearing are held to determine the incapacity of the ward. Once the need for guardianship is established, the process continues with the naming of a guardian and transfer of rights.
As guardianship attorneys in Martin County know, the process of establishing guardianship can be complex and can raise sensitive issues. The process usually begins with someone filing a petition to determine incapacity. A committee then examines the proposed ward and issues a report to the court. The court may then schedule a hearing to determine whether the individual may be partially or totally incapacitated. Guardians are generally appointed at the conclusion of this hearing.
Guardianship is a legal relationship enabling the guardian to exercise rights and make decisions for another person, often referred to in Palm City as a ward. Parents serve as natural guardians of their children while they are minors. A guardian helps protect individuals who are deemed unable to care for themselves due to youth, mental incapacity, developmental disability, mental illness, drug dependency, or other factors. In addition, if a child receives more than $15,000 from a legal claim, inheritance or other source, a guardian would be appointed to prevent mismanagement of the funds.
State law provides for both limited guardianships and plenary guardianships. The law favors imposition of the least restrictive option when someone becomes incapacitated. Guardianship would be established as limited if the court believes the ward is able to perform some tasks needed to care for themselves or their property. Plenary guardianships are created when wards are considered completely unable to care for their own interests.
A Palm City guardianship lawyer can explain various guardianship options and help evaluate which ones are most appropriate under a person’s circumstances. Guardianships may cover financial or personal matters, or both.
A Palm City guardianship lawyer could assist at any phase in the process, including the management of legal filings and other required paperwork once guardianship has been put into place. Since guardians are required to act in the best interest of their wards, it can be helpful to have guidance from an experienced legal professional when questions arise concerning the management of a ward’s assets or making personal decisions.
To learn more about the process or available options, contact a trusts and estates lawyer who handles guardianship. An experienced guardianship lawyer can make a challenging process much more manageable.