A guardianship may be required where an individual is judicially determined by the Guardianship Court to lack the capacity to manage at least some property or to meet at least some of his or her essential health and safety requirements. The Florida guardianship statutes are designed to preserve as many of the individual’s rights as possible and confer on the Guardian only those rights and duties necessary to ensure the incapacitated individual’s well-being. If an individual can be protected through measures put in place as part of his or her estate plan, then no guardianship may be needed. Furthermore, in planning for guardianship, Florida law permits a competent individual to make a written declaration that names someone to act as his or her Guardian in the event of future incapacity.
The need for a guardianship of the property may arise from an incapacitated individual’s inability to manage assets. In this instance, the Guardianship Court may appoint a Guardian of the incapacitated individual’s property to provide for his or her maintenance and support, including the costs of medical care, assisted living and/or nursing home care. Court-supervised guardianship proceedings require periodic financial disclosure to the incapacitated individual, and possibly to family members or other interested persons as well.
John Morrissey has been involved in numerous guardianship proceedings since he began his legal career in 1993. This has included the representation of family members who file petitions for appointment as Guardian for a loved one, and it has also included representation of alleged incapacitated individuals. In addition, Mr. Morrissey been involved in numerous guardianship litigation matters, representing alleged incapacitated individuals or their family members in adversary proceedings, including the following:
- Disputes concerning incapacity.
- Disputes over competing petitions for appointment of Guardian.
- Objections to guardianship accountings and expenditures by the Guardian.
- Disputes concerning the sale or disposition of guardianship assets.
- Disputes concerning the level of medical care or other assistance for the incapacitated individual.