When a Guardian is Needed

A guardian may need to be appointed if a Florida resident is unable to care for him- or herself or to manage personal affairs and finances. A guardian may be appointed for person, property, or, as often occurs, both. Guardianships may be voluntary or may be contested.

Appointment of a guardian is appropriate if a child has no parent available to care for him, or in some cases when a child receives a large settlement or insurance payment that must be managed for him. Of course, sometimes it is necessary for adults to have guardians, too. If an adult develops mental illness, dementia, or experiences a brain injury or other condition making him unable to care for himself, another responsible adult must step in. A guardianship is a legal relationship created by the court, which declares the protected person, or ward, to be incapacitated and appoints the guardian as a fiduciary to act in the ward's stead.

Guardianship for an adult can be a difficult, delicate matter. Adult children of Florida residents, who themselves may reside out of state, may have concerns for their parents' well-being. Sometimes the adult does not feel that he is incapable of caring for his own needs and strenuously resists having a guardian. One adult child may lobby to be appointed as guardian, while another opposes such an appointment. Preserving relationships while protecting the interests and rights of the prospective ward often requires skilled legal assistance.

Working to Protect Rights and Preserve Relationships

At the law office of Lisa Jo Spencer, P.A., we regularly represent guardians and wards, and deal with guardianships of all types. We understand what a challenging situation the need to appoint a guardian can create. Our goal is to protect the interests and well-being of our clients while minimizing conflict wherever possible.

Lisa Jo Spencer has years of experience with helping clients through the guardianship process. The skilled and respectful way in which we help families has led many professionals, including financial planners and assisted living facilities, to refer their clients and clients' families to us for assistance.

If you are dealing with circumstances in which guardianship may be appropriate, we look forward to reviewing your situation with you. If a guardianship is the only option, we will help to make the process as easy as possible for you. If there are other alternatives, we will explore them with you and help you evaluate options.

The law office of Lisa Jo Spencer, P.A. handles cases in Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa Counties. To learn more about guardianship in Florida or the services we offer, please contact our office at (850) 226-4998 to schedule a consultation.