The Benefits of a Guardianship
Guardianships are used to care for our loved ones when they are vulnerable. This is especially true in Florida, where a growing elderly population puts beloved family members at risk of exploitation from unscrupulous caregivers, investment advisors, and even family and friends.
Guardianships can also be put in place to safeguard the personal and financial wellbeing of minor children and disabled adults. In the case of minors, guardianships are needed not only when parents pass away but when a guardian is required to approve a settlement on behalf of a minor or in cases where a minor has a claim for personal injury, property damage, wrongful death, or a cause of action in which the gross settlement of the claim exceeds $50,000.
In Florida, a guardianship can exist for a person, their property, or both. In many cases, individuals who can longer keep up with their health and finances require both forms of guardianship.
For nearly 30 years, the law firm of Gregory H. Zogran has served families and individuals confronted by tough, emotional decisions regarding parents, disabled children, and other loved ones. Whether you need to establish a guardianship or contest a petition to determine incapacity, I can help you make the right choices for your loved one and your family.
The Role of the Guardian
Whether your elderly parent can no longer live independently or your spouse is suffering the early stages of a degenerative disease, serving as guardian can ensure that you are equipped with the legal authority to make caring decisions on their behalf. Together with an incredible support staff, I sit down with my clients to thoroughly discuss guardianship responsibilities and the various court hearings and processes involved in establishing incapacity. My approach includes explaining all the issues and concerns raised during the guardianship process, including:
Guardians are appointed by the court and have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of their ward at all times.
Partial vs. Total Authority
In Florida, courts have the option to grant total or partial authority to the guardian. Also known as a plenary guardianship, total authority means the guardian has complete control over the ward. By contrast, partial – or limited – authority reserves some rights for the ward.
Guardianship vs. Power of Attorney
Because guardianship powers and the authority behind powers of attorney often overlap, it is important to distinguish between the two. We walk you through how a guardianship intersects with a power of attorney and how one impacts the other in both court and everyday life.
Contesting a Guardianship Proceeding
In some cases, it is necessary to challenge a family member’s petition to be appointed as guardian of a loved one. At the law office of Gregory H. Zogran, I understand that contesting a guardianship is often fraught with emotion, conflict, and stress. These types of disputes typically involve several family members with complicated relationships and disagreements that may stretch back over several years. No matter what inter-family strife you are facing, I am a strong ally in your corner. I will explain your rights and the pros and cons of litigation. In cases where litigation is appropriate, I will zealously represent your interests in court.
Helping You Care for Your Loved Ones
If you are considering a guardianship for a member of your family, you probably have a lot of questions. Let me provide the answers and reassurance you need to approach your case with confidence. Contact my Stuart, Florida office today at 772-220-9699 to discuss your case.