Voluntary, Involuntary, Emergency &
Elder Guardianship in Florida

At Walser & Herman Law Firm, your Florida guardianship attorney will be able to guide you through every step of creating a guardianship, which is a legal relationship established by the court in which a trusted individual is appointed to exercise the legal rights of a ward.

Our Probate Attorneys Represent
Families, Guardians and Wards

The court will only appoint a guardian to care for a ward who meets the definition of “incapacitated person” under Florida Statute Chapter 744. A minor, a person with a disability, or an elderly person may be considered incapacitated if he or she is not able to make decisions about property or health.

Our team has more than 30 years of experience protecting the rights of wards and helping those who are responsible for their wellbeing.

Walser & Herman Law Firm represents:

  • Family members seeking guardianship;
  • Guardians acting on behalf of their wards; and,
  • Wards requesting adjustment or termination of the guardianship.

Types of Guardianship

Guardianship only lasts as long as the ward remains incapacitated. The ward’s rights will be restored once a minor child reaches the age of 18 or is capable of making decisions. Also, the court may grant partial guardianship in some circumstances. For instance, the court might grant financial guardianship to a bank or a family member for a person who can take care of his or her own personal physical needs, but cannot manage complex financial affairs.

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The guardian has a duty to act in the best interests of the ward. However, the duties and duration of the relationship depend on the situation, which may include:

  • Voluntary guardianship
    The ward requests the appointment of a guardian to help with the maintenance of property or assist with physical or medical needs.
  • Involuntary guardianship
    Another party files a petition seeking guardianship of a person incapacitated by illness, injury, age, or mental illness.
  • Temporary/emergency guardianship
    Florida families may find that in some cases, a temporary guardian is appointed upon the ward’s sudden incapacitation — due to a sudden illness or injury, for example — to act during a temporary period of incapacity or until a permanent guardianship can be established.
  • Guardian advocate
    The court may appoint a guardian advocate for an individual with developmental disabilities to obtain legal authority to act on their behalf, if the person lack the decision-making ability to do some (but not all) of the decision-making tasks.

Court-Determined
Incapacitation

The court will not grant guardianship for a person who simply makes poor and unhealthy choices; the person must be considered incapacitated. Before ruling a person incapacitated, the court orders an exam to assess the person’s physical, mental and functional capacity.

A presumption exists that a minor child is not capable of entering into contracts and making certain healthcare and property decisions. However, the courts have authority to rule a child is emancipated, meaning the minor is legally treated as an adult. Otherwise, the parents are typically considered a child’s guardian. If the parents can no longer care for the child — because of death, illness, neglect or abuse — the court may then appoint another guardian who assumes many of the responsibilities of a parent until the child reaches 18 years old.

Learn More About Guardianship from Our Florida Probate Attorneys

Walser & Herman Law Firm can help you establish guardianship or handle other matters related to the legal relationship. Call our Florida guardianship attorneys at 561.750.1040 or send us an email to schedule a consultation to strategize a solution to your specific circumstances.

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Call us (561) 750-1040

Our Team

Our experienced team of attorneys is here to help you navigate your estate plan and the Florida probate process.

Thomas C. Walser, JD, LLM
Partner/Attorney
Christa W. Herman, Esq.
Partner/Attorney
Jay L. Kauffman, Esq.
Of Counsel
Bettee M. Collister, Esq.
Of Counsel