If your older loved ones are not able to take care of their financial affairs, or themselves, or both, a court may decide that they need to be protected by a professional or family guardianship arrangement. Your family can rest assured that qualified professional oversight and supervision is available when Silver Wings petitions for guardianship or prepares assessments for your aging parents or other elderly loved ones. Although we do not serve as the court appointed guardian we will petition to find you the best guardian to serve. We have served as legal guardians for many Florida seniors, and we can help your family in this manner too.
- What Is A Guardianship?
- When Does A Person Need A Guardianship?
- How Does One Person Become A Guardian Of Another Person?
- How Does A Person Become Qualified To Be A Professional Guardian?
- Are You Insured, Registered And Bonded?
What Is A Guardianship?
Legal guardians are appointed and overseen by the court system. A guardianship is created when a court petition is filed for a judge to appoint a guardian for someone, and a judge finds that there is indeed a need for that guardianship because the person lacks the capacity to take care of themselves.
The judge makes that decision only after the person is evaluated by professionals (usually doctors) and the professionals’ finding is that the person indeed is incapacitated. At that point, the judge decides that the person (called the “ward”) can’t take care of their financial affairs, or themselves, or both, and names another party, a person or an organization, (called the “guardian”) to be in charge of the ward’s care or finances, or both.
A guardianship is not something to enter into lightly. In a guardianship, the court is taking away the ward’s right to make decisions for themselves and giving that right (and responsibility) to the guardian. Because of that, guardianships are complex legal arrangements that can lead to significant legal fees and other costs. When possible, less costly alternatives such as trustee arrangements should be considered as well. Expert advice from an elder law attorney is needed in order to select the most appropriate approach.
When Does A Person Need A Guardianship?
In order for a person to be placed under guardianship, that person must be an “incapacitated person”. Florida’s Guardianship Statue defines “Incapacitated person” to mean “…a person who has been judicially determined to lack the capacity to manage at least some of the property or to meet at least some of the essential health and safety requirements of the person.”
How Does One Person Become A Guardian Of Another Person?
The judge who finds that the ward is indeed incapacitated is normally the one who assigns someone else to be the guardian. The Florida Guardian Statute defines the process and guidelines for deciding whether the guardian should be a family member, a friend or other willing non-professional, or a professional guardian.
How Does A Person Become Qualified To Be A Professional Guardian?
In Florida, the Guardian Statute requires that professional guardians be registered with the Statewide Public Guardianship Office. This state registration is a rigorous process of documenting the good character and professional knowledge and education of the professional guardian.
Professional guardians are required to post a bond and take a required number of continuing professional education hours each year in order to maintain and renew their registration. In addition, professional guardians are required to demonstrate their competency to act as a professional guardian by taking an examination approved by the state Department of Elderly Affairs.
Are You Insured, Registered And Bonded?
Yes, Silver Wings carries professional liability insurance and fidelity bonding and its professional guardians are properly registered with the Florida Statewide Public Guardianship Office.