As families begin to realize that their elderly loved one will not be able to take care of him or herself for much longer, it is important to start looking at the option of guardianship. A guardian is named by the court and is tasked with caring for the individual and handling his or her finances, obligations and legal decisions.
Some of the most common guardianship questions we receive include:
What kind of responsibilities does a guardian have?
The guardian is responsible for providing care decision-making for the ward (whether a child or elderly individual). This includes making legal decisions and managing his or her assets. The guardian is not technically responsible for providing financially for the ward (this should come from the ward’s money or a trust). However, in many cases, guardians and families end up footing certain costs, if the ward’s money runs out.
How does one seek guardianship?
It is best to work with a skilled attorney to seek legal guardianship of an individual. There are many complexities to these laws, and they are constantly evolving. A lawyer can help you understand exactly how this will affect you and the steps you can take to protect yourself and the ward.
How long does it take to become a guardian?
It can take a significant period of time (up to months) for a guardian to be appointed. If you know that you or a loved one will need a guardian, it is important to begin this process as soon as possible. We can help you explore these options.
Who can be a guardian?
While guardians are often family members, anyone could be named guardian, from a friend to a lawyer to a state agency.
Can I end a guardianship?
Yes. If you are no longer able to provide care, you can seek to transfer guardianship to another individual. If you have a loved one who you feel is being neglected by his or her guardian, you can petition the court to have the guardian removed from these duties.
At Kitroser & Associates, we will provide you with clear guidance through this task, as well as the answers and information you need to make informed decisions. Our attorney will help you develop a strategy tailored to your family and your needs.
For more information about how we can help, please contact our law offices today at 561-721-0600.
The North Palm Beach Estate Planning Lawyers of Kitroser & Associates, welcome clients from the cities of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach, Jupiter, Tequesta, Juno Beach, Singer Island, Lake Park, Hobe Sound, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Lake Worth, as well as all of Palm Beach County, Martin County and South Florida.