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Types of guardianships in Florida

When you're looking into guardianships in Florida, one thing you should know is that there are two different primary types: a voluntary guardianship as well as an involuntary guardianship. Voluntary guardianship is allowed for adults who are mentally competent but who may not be able to manage their own estates. These individuals can petition for the appointment of a guardian.

Involuntary guardianships are exactly what they sound like. The court will appoint a guardian to a person who is unable to make sound decisions or who is impaired to the point that the court believes guardianship is the best option for the person's safety and well-being.

Since guardianships give the right to make decisions for another person, courts generally do not appoint guardians lightly. The least restrictive form of guardianship is what the law intends in each situation.

In addition to the two main kinds of guardianships, voluntary and involuntary, Florida law also recognizes limited and plenary adult guardianships. The first is a limited form of guardianship giving the guardian power only over some parts of the ward's life. Plenary guardianships are for those so incapacitated or disabled that another person must take over all legal authority for him or her.

As adults grow older or suffer from injuries that cause disabilities, the need for a guardianship may grow. If you would like to appoint someone as a guardian in the case that you fall ill or are incapable of making decisions for yourself, you can add this to your estate plan or petition the court to appoint a guardian shortly.

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Peter J. Snyder, P.A.

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