Guardianship of Property
Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC represents individuals and families in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas in Florida Guardianship proceedings and litigation. Our Florida Guardianship Attorneys and Florida Guardianship Lawyers work with Families involved with Florida Guardianships.
Guardianship of Property of an Adult
Guardianship of Property of an Adult is the process by which an individual is appointed a guardian to manage and protect his or her property because they cannot. Guardianship is the legal remedy that gives an individual the authority to protect and oversee the property of another. The Florida Court System monitors the guardianship process and is defined by Florida Statute 744, and the Florida Probate Code.
The guardian is the person appointed by the Court to control and protect the property of the Ward. The Ward is the individual who cannot manage his or her property and is the subject of the Guardianship. Guardianship of Property of an Adult can be involuntary or voluntary.
Involuntary Guardianship of Property of an Adult
Guardianship of Property of an Adult is involuntary when the Ward is unable to manage their property due to being incapacitated. Incapacitated means being unable to make your own decisions due to a mental deficiency. For a court to appoint a Ward who is incapacitated a guardian, the Court must first deem the Ward incapacitated. Having the Ward determined incapacitated requires a second court proceeding to determine incapacity, and begins when a Petition to Determine Incapacity is filed with the Court.
Once a Petition to Determine Incapacity is filed with the Court, the Ward is appointed an attorney to represent what is in “the best interests of the Ward.” An Examining Committee is also selected. The Examining Committee is composed of three persons, who examine the Ward and advise the Court of the Ward’s mental capacity.
Voluntary Guardianship of Property of an Adult
Voluntary Guardianship of Property of an Adult is when the Ward voluntarily waives their right to manage their property and requests the Court to appoint a guardian to oversee their property. In a voluntary guardianship, the Ward is still competent and able to control their property. The Ward voluntarily chooses to have a guardian. If the Ward later becomes incapacitated an involuntary guardianship will need to be established. Along with a voluntary guardianship, it is common to file a preneed guardian so that in the event an involuntary guardianship is later required the Ward’s preference for who will be appointed their guardian will be known to the Court.
What happens after a guardian of property is appointed?
Once a Guardian of Property of an Adult is appointed by the Court, the Ward’s assets are placed in a restricted account under court supervision, or a bond can be posted. If the Court requires a restricted account, all transactions will need to be approved by the Court. Yearly and monthly expenses may be approved in advance.
In addition to the Court requiring a restricted account or a bond being posted, the Court requires an Annual Accounting. The Annual Accounting tells the Court how the guardian managed the Ward’s property over the preceding year.
When is Guardianship of Property of an Adult necessary?
Adult Guardianship of Property is most commonly necessary when an elderly family member can no longer manage their assets or pay their bills without help due to age or dementia. The elderly family does not have a valid Power of Attorney and cannot now sign one because of their lack of mental capacity. To sign a Power of Attorney, you must have the mental ability to understand what a Power of Attorney is and the rights you will be delegating to someone else. In essence, Adult Guardianship of Property is most common when an elderly individual does not have a Power of Attorney and needs assistance managing their finances.
Adult Guardianship of Property is also needed when a family member suddenly falls into mental illness or is in an accident, which renders the individual unable to manage their affairs. Again, the individual does not have a valid Power of Attorney.
The Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC represents individuals and families in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas in Florida Guardianship proceedings and litigation. Our Florida Guardianship Attorneys and Florida Guardianship Lawyers work with families involved with Florida Guardianships.
If you think a guardianship may be appropriate or are involved in guardianship proceedings and would like representation to help you understand and deal with this complicated process, CONTACT our Florida Guardianship Lawyers by email or call us at 904-685-1200 to discuss your situation today.