Later in life, many seniors become unable to manage their own affairs. If a senior has become incapacitated and has not previously put into place the tools to allow someone else to manage their affairs, a guardianship may become necessary to allow financial management of their affairs.
Guardianships can be plenary where the Guardian has complete control over the Ward's person and property. A plenary guardianship is a drastic remedy that removes decision-making authority from the Ward and removes control that the Ward previously had over his or her assets. In the alternative, guardianships may also be limited when a Ward is not completely incapacitated.
A relative (the preferred priority of the Court) or close friend can usually be appointed as guardian by the Florida probate court in the county where the senior is living. In the alternative, a professional guardian may serve as guardian if no relative or friend is available.
Guardianship of Minors
Guardianships are also used where a minor stands to inherit large sums of property, receives a personal injury settlement or where a minor's parents are deceased or unable to care for the minor. In some cases, a guardian ad litem may be sufficient to protect the minor's interests rather than a full scale guardianship. If a biological parent is involved, guardianship of the person will not be required but guardianship of property will be required.