Unfortunately, circumstances can occur that leave a person unable to care for their own basic needs, such as securing housing and food. Other situations could leave an individual incapable of handling more complex issues like paying taxes and selling property. The law is sympathetic to these difficulties and recognizes that people in this position will require assistance. As a result, any concerned person can file a formal petition with a court to obtain guardianship powers over another adult.
The process of becoming a guardian in Fort Lauderdale can be complicated and is extremely detail-oriented. Because guardians have an immense amount of power over their wards, the law aims to ensure this type of arrangement is absolutely necessary and requires potential guardians to display their fitness for the role. Consulting with an experienced guardianship attorney like Marc Brown, P.A. may be beneficial if you are considering filing a motion to protect and care for the health and wellbeing of an incapacitated person.
Proving that a Guardianship is Necessary
The first question the court will ask an individual seeking to obtain guardianship powers over another is why they believe that the arrangement is necessary. Generally, all adults have the sole right and freedom to make their own decisions. However, if a physical or mental incapacity is present that jeopardizes the decision-making process, a guardianship arrangement may be necessary.
The main concern of a judge who hears these cases is whether the proposed ward fits the state’s definition of an incapacitated person. Under Florida Statute §744.102(12), an incapacitated person is one who is unable to take care of at least some of their property or manage their own health and safety requirements. Demonstrating in court that a person is unable to meet these demands is one way that a seasoned attorney may be able to help.
A skilled legal professional works to gather the evidence necessary to prove this vital concept. This includes obtaining medical records and opinions from doctors that reveal a person does not have the mental or physical capabilities to properly care for themselves. In addition, according to FL Stat. §744.331(3), the court will establish an examining committee to fully evaluate a person’s need for a guardian. Satisfying this requirement is always the most important—and the most difficult—legal obstacle to overcome when seeking to become a guardian in Fort Lauderdale.
Initiating Effective Guardianship Petitions in Fort Lauderdale Courts
Once a person establishes that there is a medical basis for submitting a petition to the court, they can file a formal application requesting guardianship powers. This petition may ask the court to grant general guardianship authority or for power over a specific area to assist the ward.
Under FL Stat. § 744.3201, any adult can submit these petitions. However, most often those seeking appointment are concerned friends or family members who have firsthand knowledge of the ward’s insufficient physical and/or mental state.
These applications must contain significant information about the proposed ward, their family, and the reasons for filing the petition. This allows for the court to give tacit approval of the arrangement while simultaneously forming the examination group mentioned above. It also allows other family members to submit information about the request or even file formal objections. Speaking with a knowledgeable lawyer at our firm could be the first step towards the appointment of a guardian for a friend or loved one in Fort Lauderdale.
Speak with an Attorney to Learn More about Becoming a Guardian in Fort Lauderdale
In Florida, there is a strict legal process that must be followed in order to obtain guardianship powers over another person. This includes submitting a comprehensive petition to the court that outlines the reasons why the arrangement is necessary. It also requires a team of doctors and social workers to examine the proposed ward and provide their expert opinions on the matter. Finally, family members and other concerned parties will always have the right to have their voices heard in court.
If you are considering obtaining guardianship powers over another adult, reach out to Marc Brown, P.A. today. We are prepared to provide more detailed information on the entire process, answer any questions you may have, and ultimately, assist you in becoming a guardian in Fort Lauderdale.