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Guardianship

What it is and how it works...

In Florida, guardianship refers to a legal process in which a court appoints a guardian to make decisions on behalf of an individual who is unable to make decisions for themselves due to incapacity.

 

This could include minors, individuals with developmental disabilities, or adults who are incapacitated due to illness, injury, or other reasons.

 

The process of obtaining guardianship in Florida typically involves filing a petition with the court, providing evidence of the individual's incapacity, and demonstrating why a guardian is necessary. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether guardianship is appropriate and who should serve as the guardian.

Once appointed, the guardian is responsible for making decisions related to the individual's personal care, living arrangements, medical treatment, and financial affairs, as authorized by the court. The guardian must act in the individual's best interests and report to the court regularly on the individual's well-being and the management of their affairs.

 

Guardianship is an important legal mechanism designed to protect vulnerable individuals and ensure that their needs are met when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. However, it is also a significant responsibility, and guardians are expected to act with diligence, integrity, and compassion in carrying out their duties.

 

A Conservator takes control over the assets and affairs of someone who is "absent".  Their absence (either presumed dead or missing) means someone is appointed to take care of their finances until the absent person returns (if ever).  This could include settling the estate of a person.

While conservatorship and guardianship are related concepts, they are not exactly the same, especially in the legal context of Florida.

Guardianship typically refers to the legal relationship in which a court appoints someone to make personal and health care decisions on behalf of an individual who is incapacitated or unable to make those decisions themselves. This includes decisions about medical treatment, living arrangements, and other personal matters.

 

Conservatorship, on the other hand, usually refers to the legal relationship in which a court appoints someone to manage the financial affairs and assets of an individual who is unable to manage them independently. This might involve paying bills, managing investments, and handling other financial matters.

In some jurisdictions, including Florida, the terms "guardianship" and "conservatorship" might be used interchangeably or combined into a single legal arrangement known as "guardianship." In such cases, the appointed guardian may have authority over both the personal and financial affairs of the incapacitated individual.

 

However, in other jurisdictions, including some states in the United States, there might be a distinction between guardianship and conservatorship, with separate legal procedures and appointments for each role.

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