If your parent has developed a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, their property and personal savings are vulnerable. Someone could take advantage of them or their property.
If you think if you can help them by making medical and financial decisions on their behalf, you can become your parent’s legal guardian. This can be your chance to take care of them as they once took care of you.
Do you qualify as a guardian?
To protect elderly or vulnerable people, guardians make financial, medical, educational and other major decisions on the person’s behalf. Only a worthy person should have that much responsibility. To protect vulnerable people from their guardians, the courts set a few requirements for guardianships.
- You must be a legal adult
- You cannot be a convicted felon
- You must be a Florida resident or a direct relation to the person (such as a spouse, child, etc.)
If you meet these requirements, you and the person can petition for guardianship in court. There, you and the person can have a self-appointed or court-appointed attorney represent you.
So, you qualify. Now what?
If a judge agrees that the person needs a guardian, you qualify as a guardian, and they approve you as the guardian, it does not mean you gain immediate control over their estate. You must prove to the court you can perform your job.
To finalize the guardianship, you must do the following:
- Complete an educational course (8 hrs). Non-residents can be accommodated.
- Submit to a criminal and credit background check.
- Submit proof of the background checks.
- Pay associated court fees, filing fees and any attorney fees.
A guardianship is a complicated process that is intended to protect everyone involved. When used correctly, it can protect a vulnerable person’s estate, their family and their health needs. If you would like to set up a guardianship for your parent, explore your legal options today.