Guardianships are legal relationships created by a court when incapacity exists. A guardianship is a court-supervised process of administering and managing an incapacitated person's financial and medical affairs. The Guardian is the person designated to take charge of this process, and the incapacitated person is called the Ward.
Children under the age of eighteen (18) years, are considered legally incapacitated due to age, and must have a guardian appointed in the event the child's parents are unable, unwilling or incapable of handling their parenting responsibilities, or in the event that a minor child is entitled to money in excess of $15,000.00 in the state of Florida.
A guardianship might also be one alternative to investigate if your elderly loved one is incapable of making decisions for themselves, or has dementia or Alzheimer's Disease and becomes a danger to themselves or others. If the person has not appointed a power of attorney or health care surrogate a legal guardianship may need to be imposed to adequately protect your loved one.
A guardianship may be appropriate if you observe your loved exhibiting warning signs of declining mental capacity such as:
The moment you perceive that your friend or family member can no longer manage his or her affairs, you should contact qualified legal counsel immediately to explore your options before he or she does harm to herself or other or before he or she is taken advantage of.
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