Guardianships for Incapacitated Persons
An incapacitated person is an adult who has been judicially determined to lack the capacity to manage at least some of his or her property or to meet at least some of the essential health and safety requirements of the person.
Any adult may file a petition with the court to determine another person’s incapacity. Upon filing of the Petition to Determine Incapacity, the court will appoint an examining committee to examine the alleged incapacitated person. The examination typically includes a physical examination, a mental health examination, and a functional assessment. The court also appoints an attorney to represent the alleged incapacitated person; however, the alleged incapacitated person may substitute his or her own attorney for the attorney appointed by the court. If the examining committee finds the person is unable to exercise certain rights, however, the court schedules a hearing to determine whether the person is totally or partially incapacitated. If a person is found to be incapacitated in any respect, a guardian is appointed at the end of the incapacity hearing unless there are lesser restrictive alternatives to guardianship that adequately address the person’s incapacity such as a living trust, durable power of attorney, and/or designation of healthcare surrogate.
In Florida, all guardians are required to be represented by an attorney. The court is also required to appoint an attorney for the alleged incapacitated person (potential ward). Here at Trader Legal, we handle all aspects of guardianship proceedings. Give us a call today at (321) 723-6731 to schedule a consultation regarding your guardianship issues.