It’s always a good idea to plan ahead, combatting the unexpected complications that life brings. Though you might not want to dwell on stressful, unexpected possibilities the future could hold for you or your loved ones, there are some simple, proactive moves you can make to maximize your control over your legal, financial, and medical needs should an emergency arise. One wise move involves understanding and preparing for the potential of guardianship.
In guardianship proceedings, you will want to be sure that the right person is designated to take on the responsibility of your care. So, consider this an essential area to examine as part of your estate plan! Read on for a few things you should know about guardianship.
An Introduction to Volusia County Guardianship
A “guardianship” refers to the legal relationship between an incapacitated person, referred to as the “ward,” and a court-appointed person or institution – the ward’s “guardian.” The guardian, once appointed, has the responsibility to meet health and safety requirements for the ward, as well as to manage their property – involving making an inventory of the property, using it for the ward’s support, filing reports with the court, and also getting approval for some financial transactions from the court. The guardian is held responsible for the ward’s best interests with this form of accountability.
How the Process Works
Establishing a Volusia County guardianship involves multiple steps. Two distinct parts of the process are referred to as the “petition to determine incapacity” and the “petition to appoint a guardian,” filed with a court. While these steps are two distinct hearings, they can often be combined.
In order to determine incapacity, the court utilizes a three-member examining committee, which includes a physician. The potential ward’s physical health and mental health are considered, as well as a functional assessment. The judge will appoint a guardian if the person’s incapacitation is clearly and convincingly established.
The guardian named can either be an adult resident of Florida, or one of certain relatives that may not be Florida residents. However, this decision need not be out of the hands of the ward. By planning ahead and legally naming their preferred guardian in advance, a person may smooth this court process.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Do you have someone in mind whom you are confident would be able to fulfill your needs as a guardian? This might be your spouse or another family member – someone who is familiar with your finances and medical needs and preferences. Take advantage of your estate planning process to discuss your wishes with this individual and name them early as a preneed guardian. Establishing a preneed guardianship allows you to legally define a preferred choice for a guardian, should you need one in the future and not wish the court to choose for you.
Having successfully petitioned courts to appoint legal Volusia County guardianships for over three decades, the law firm of Fred B. Share in Holly Hill, Florida, is prepared to handle the process of establishing your preneed guardianship wishes – as well as all the other portions of your complex estate planning process. Contact us today to begin planning for your family’s future. We’re prepared to help you succeed with expert guidance!