Applying for Guardianship of an Incapacitated Adult

Knowing how to take care of your aging or disabled loved ones can be complicated, especially where the law is concerned. From estate planning to Medicaid, it is important to have a trusted attorney on your side to help you navigate through these difficult areas. Nowhere is this more apparent than when applying for legal guardianship.

In guardianship cases, the Court will appoint an individual to handle someone’s affairs after ruling that they are no longer capable of caring for themselves. This usually happens in cases where an individual has demonstrated that they are no longer physically or mentally capable of maintaining their own care, requiring another adult to maintain a level of care for them.

In this blog, we will examine when it is time to apply for legal guardianship, as well as what steps to take once you have committed to your decision.

When to Consider Applying for Guardianship

A person will apply for guardianship of an adult if that adult has a mental and/or physical injury, illness, or disability which has made it impossible for them to care for themselves. Some of the reasons to apply for guardianship may include:

  • Coma
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Serious brain injury
  • Developmental disability

How Do I Apply for Guardianship?

Florida law allows for both voluntary and involuntary guardianship. Voluntary guardianship may be granted in cases where adults who remain mentally competent petition for a guardian to be appointed to help them manage their affairs. Florida law also allows for the appointment of a limited guardian for adults who may lack the ability to take care of some of their needs, but are not completely incapacitated.

In Florida, you must be represented by a guardianship attorney to request the appointment of a legal guardian for an incapacitated adult. After securing representation, your attorney will help you file a petition with the court that requests a determination of incapacity and a petition that requests appointment of a guardian for the incapacitated person. The court will appoint an examining committee to conduct examinations of the incapacitated person to determine if the person lacks the ability to handle their own financial and health care decisions. An attorney will be appointed by the court to represent the incapacitated person and their interests in the guardianship case.  If the court determines that your loved one is incapacitated, the court will appoint a legal guardian. The legal guardian may be appointed to handle the incapacitated person’s legal affairs, health care decisions, or both.

If you have a loved one who can no longer take care of themselves, it may be time to consider guardianship. Contact an experienced guardianship attorney who can guide you through this process and help your loved one receive the care that is right for them.

Planning on applying for adult guardianship? Need help navigating the guardianship process? Our attorney at Finley Williams Law, PA can help you. We are known for our accessibility, guidance, and personalized service. Call us at (727) 280-6837 or contact us online to see if we can help you today.

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