Common Guardianship Questions

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Common Guardianship Questions

Common Guardianship Questions

An elderly friend of mine recently hired a lawyer to draft a new will based on the recommendation of people that she regards as “friends.” My understanding is that the friends who introduced her to the attorney are now the beneficiaries of her estate and are named in her power of attorney.

If you are ever concerned that someone may be taking advantage of an elderly individual, please call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). If you want to assist in a more direct way, you may also consider meeting with a Florida guardianship attorney to discuss legal options for protecting them.

How do you apply for guardianship of an elder person?

Typically a guardianship begins when an attorney for a concerned friend or relative files paperwork in the Probate Court. Under Florida guardianship procedure, an attorney is appointed to represent the alleged incapacitated person in the guardianship proceedings. In order to obtain guardianship, there must first be a determination by a Judge as to the degree of the person’s incapacity, if any. A panel of three mental health professionals meets with the person and each issues a report to the Court regarding the person’s capacity. If the Court determines that an individual is incapacitated, the court may remove that person’s rights to manage some of their own affairs and appoint a suitable guardian to exercise those specific rights for the incapacitated adult. Guardianships remain under the supervision of the court and have strict reporting requirements.

How do you apply for guardianship of an elder person?

I have POA but do I have the legal right to take his keys?

A Power of Attorney only grants rights which are subordinate to the grantor’s rights. The grantor does not “give up” any of his rights, he merely allows another person to also exercise those rights. As the holder of the POA (the Attorney-in-Fact) you are given the power to do anything that he could do so long as it conforms to his wishes. The POA will not allow you to override his decisions. If your father is a danger to himself or others, a guardianship may be the solution.

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