Ponte Vedra Guardianship Lawyer

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Ponte Vedra Guardianship Lawyer

Ponte Vedra Guardianship Attorney

If an individual is physically or mentally unable to care for themselves, it puts them at risk of being taken advantage of. The guardianship system was established to provide assistance to these individuals to maintain their quality of life. In order to prevent fraud and exploitation, this system includes lots of rules and regulations for creating and maintaining guardianship. For help navigating this difficult process, contact a Ponte Vedra guardianship attorney.

Compassionate Care

The Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., is familiar with many different issues surrounding elderly care. We have over 20 years of experience working with clients interested in estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianships, and other legal issues regarding elderly loved ones. Determining a loved one’s final legal wishes can cause a huge emotional toll, so we strive to provide every client with personalized solutions for their unique situation.

What Is Legal Guardianship?

Legal guardianship is established when an individual is unable to care for themselves or their personal affairs. This individual is often called a ward or an incapacitated person. If someone becomes a ward’s legal guardian, this means that some amount of the ward’s rights are removed due to their incapacity. In most cases, this is a last resort option that will only be granted if there is no other alternative that can ensure the ward’s safety or well-being.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

You need an attorney for guardianship issues to protect your family. In order for a guardianship to be established in Ponte Vedra, an attorney must represent the person being considered to become a ward. An attorney is also required to draft the petition that a potential guardian must file in order to start the guardianship process.

Regardless of state requirements, considering such a powerful thing as guardianship should not be something done lightly. This decision should be discussed with a trusted legal representative.

How Does Establishing Guardianship Work?

In Florida, establishing guardianship typically goes as follows:

  1. An adult other than the alleged incapacitated person files a petition to the court claiming that the person is incapacitated with the assistance of a guardianship attorney.
  2. The court then establishes a committee of three medical professionals to evaluate whether or not the person is incapacitated. Each member of the committee creates a report that is submitted and reviewed by the court. During this step, the court also assigns the alleged incapacitated person an attorney.
  3. After the reports are filed and reviewed, the judge schedules a hearing and determines whether or not to appoint a guardian to the alleged incapacitated person. The judge will also consider less restrictive options and specify which type of guardianship is granted depending on the circumstances.

Most importantly, guardianship should only be considered when there are no other options available for the individual, as guardianship revokes many of the ward’s rights.

What Are the Guardianship Types?

There are two main types of guardianship for an adult: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the property/estate. Sometimes, only one of these guardianships is granted, but in other cases, both are granted.

In a guardianship of the person, a guardian is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the ward’s basic safety, food, clothing, and housing needs are met
  • Making daily decisions for the ward and maintaining their daily living expenses
  • Making medical decisions and decisions on where the ward will be housed

In guardianship of the property/estate, a guardian is responsible for:

  • Maintaining the guardian’s assets and dispensing income based on household needs
  • Managing any property the guardian owns

In both cases, a guardian must make regular reports to the court, updating them on the ward’s personal or financial status. In cases where the incapacitated person has multiple guardians, then all guardians are expected to keep each other updated on the ward’s physical, mental, and financial health.

Guardianship Law FAQs

Q: Do I Need an Attorney for Guardianship in Florida?

A: Yes, you need an attorney for guardianship in Florida based on the state’s legislation around guardianship. If a person is deemed unable to take care of themselves independently, another adult must file a Petition for Incapacity to be reviewed by an independent committee. Once the committee makes a decision, they reveal these findings to a judge who will determine the next steps in the proceedings.

Q: Does Guardianship Override Power of Attorney in Florida?

A: Guardianship overrides power of attorney in Florida in many cases. Generally, a person grants their power of attorney to someone else when they are still capable of doing so, which is ideally before a guardianship is needed. If the person who granted the power of attorney becomes a threat to themself or others, it might be necessary to establish guardianship to remove certain rights due to their incapacitation. This can help prevent things like exploitation and abuse.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to File for Guardianship in Florida?

A: It costs around $300-$500 to file a guardianship petition in Florida. There are certain costs associated with guardianship outside this filing fee, including a committee to determine incapacity and attorney fees. If the person being considered for guardianship has an estate or property, the fees can be paid through either that or sometimes through their health insurance. If they are low-income, there might be options for the state to cover some of the costs.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Get a Legal Guardianship in Florida?

A: In many cases, it takes around 90 days to get legal guardianship in Florida. This quick turnaround time is more likely if it is an uncontested guardianship, which means there is no opposition to the process. If there are conflicts regarding who should be the guardian or if the person needs to be medically evaluated, the guardianship process can take longer. These are called contested guardianships.

Receive Caring Support

Considering guardianship for a loved one can be an incredibly difficult decision to make. That is why it is so important to review your options with an experienced lawyer. The staff at the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A. provide compassionate and dedicated service to their clients in order for them to make educated decisions for their friends and family. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can help you with a potential guardianship case.

Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Probate & Estate Administration



asset protection
Asset Protection


elder law
Elder Law


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