A guardian may be appointed to a person under very specific circumstances. Children and adults may be subjected to Florida’s guardianship statutes; in the case of an adult, guardians may be appointed in the event they lack the capacity to care for themselves or their financial needs. For children, guardians may be appointed when the parents are accused of abuse or neglect, or when the child has been awarded a financial settlement or inheritance.

Plenary Guardianship

Full guardianship involves the granting of full rights over the ward. This may occur when an adult has become ill, or disabled and is unable to care for themselves in any capacity. Children who have lost their parent due to an accident, or illness may also be appointed a plenary, or full guardian to handle their affairs. In these cases, the guardian may make all decisions, including those pertaining to the physical, and financial needs of the ward.

Limited Guardianship

The court always prefers to limit guardianship whenever possible. If someone has limited capacity to care for themselves, the court will appoint a guardian with limited powers. For example, if someone is capable of living on their own but unable to manage their own finances, the court may grant a guardian the power to make financial decisions on behalf of the ward.

Guardian Advocate

Family members or caregivers with the responsibility of caring for a person with developmental disabilities have no authority to make decisions on behalf of the person after they have reached age 18. A guardian advocate may be appointed by the court; there are two categories; Guardian Advocate of the Person, and Guardian Advocate of the Property. The responsibilities in both instances are very different; of the person pertains to the physical care including housing, medical care, and social interactions. A Guardian Advocate of the property pertains to the management of all finances of the ward.

Guardians have a somber responsibility and must report regularly to the courts on any actions they have taken on behalf of the ward. If you have a loved one whom you believe needs a guardian in Collier County, Lee County, or anywhere in the Naples, FL area, contact the Law Office of Shayna K. Cavanaugh, P.A. for assistance. We will help you understand the process, and guide you through the application process.