In Florida, guardianship is a legal proceeding to appoint a person or institution to exercise the legal rights of a person who has been deemed incapable of making his or her own decisions regarding finances and/or medical care. A guardian’s authority can be very broad or rather limited. Generally, a guardian will make personal and health care decisions, but may also be responsible for other personal decisions, such as whether the person in question can have visitors or attend a specific social gathering. The extent of the guardian’s authority will be set forth in the judge’s order.
At Shelly A. Gallagher, PA, we represent individuals petitioning the court to serve as guardians, as well as people alleged to be incapacitated—that is, individuals who are subject to guardianship proceedings.
We can also show you ways to avoid the prospect of a court-ordered guardianship entirely. These include advance health directives, a durable power of attorney, and trusts. We can design and implement a plan that allows you to name a person (or people) of your own choosing to serve as guardians if you become incapacitated. In this way, you decide who can make important financial and medical decisions on your behalf, not the court.
Contact us today to discuss how you can control who can make decisions for you in the event of incapacity.