In 2011, the first wave of baby boomers turned 65, with many exiting the workforce and entering retirement. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, individuals ages 66 and older will make up roughly 20 percent of the nation's population by 2030.
As America's elderly population continues to grow, the percentage of those who need assistance with day-to-day personal and financial matters will also grow.
Many adult children with aging or ailing parents will find themselves wondering what options are available for their parents. Establishing a guardian is a good first step.
Understanding guardianships in Florida
In the state of Florida, a court can appoint a guardian to oversee the affairs of an individual who is deemed unable to make informed, rational, day-to-day decisions about his or her finances and other personal matters.
However, family members who wish to set up a guardianship for an aging parent must proceed with the following before a court will approve the guardianship:
1. Establishing incapacitation
First, the family member must file a Petition to Determine Incapacity for the parent (known as the ward) who needs the guardianship. The court and the examining committee will determine whether to grant the request.
2. Petition for appointment
Second, the family member must file a Petition for Appointment as Guardian if that family member wishes to take over the responsibility of handling the affairs of the ward. However, certain prerequisites must be met before a court will appoint a family member as a guardian. He or she must submit to a criminal background check and complete an educational course, among other requirements.
Establishing a guardianship in Florida involves important steps. Family members must adhere to specific rules and procedures. If you or another is interested in establishing a guardianship for an aging parent, reaching out to a Florida legal representative who can offer guidance on specific circumstances is advised.