St. Augustine Guardianship Lawyer

Home /  St. Augustine Guardianship Lawyer
St. Augustine Guardianship Lawyer

St. Augustine Guardianship Attorney

Determining that a family member or loved one requires the care of legal guardianship can be a complicated and emotional process. Once the decision is made, individuals may seek the support of a St. Augustine guardianship lawyer. At the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., our team of talented family law attorneys can work alongside you at this time, offering outstanding legal support and advice. Our team is eager to support even the most complicated guardianship matters.

The process of acquiring guardianship can seem daunting and drawn out, but relying on the sound and careful legal support of a guardianship attorney can help mitigate your fears and concerns.

What Is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal relationship in which one person is appointed by the court to take care of and make decisions about the well-being and/or financial affairs of another person, often referred to as a ward. Typically, guardianship is established in the case that an individual is unable to properly make important decisions or adequately care for themselves due to several factors like illness, disability, age, or incapacitation.

There are generally two types of guardianship: guardianship of a person and guardianship of an estate or property. While there are instances when one person holds one type of guardianship, often, one individual is a guardian over both the person and the estate. Guardianship of a person is a more intensive process than guardianship of a property, as it is a significant responsibility to care for and make decisions about the well-being of another individual.

In certain situations, an individual gains all guardianship rights over a ward, taking full responsibility for decision-making. There is another arrangement called limited guardianship, in which some delegable rights are delegated to the guardian while other rights are reserved to the ward. Limited guardianship terms could include the ward having the authority to manage personal care and basic daily activities but requiring the support of a guardian on all major medical decisions.

Guardianship is a serious and often long-lasting legal arrangement and should be approached with thorough intention and diligence. The process of seeking a guardianship is quite intensive, including paperwork, petitions, background checks, court hearings, and more. Many forms of guardianship require differing levels of involvement and relationship between a guardian and the ward.

The Guardianship Process Explained

The guardianship process can be long and unique depending on the specific circumstances of each case, but in general, you can expect to follow the guardianship process below.

  • Petition: The process first requires the filing of a petition for guardianship with the circuit court in the county where the ward resides. The petitioner, or person seeking guardianship, can be a family member, individual, or a state agency.
  • Examination by Examining Committee: After a petition is filed, the court appoints an examining committee to evaluate the ward’s physical and mental condition. The committee generally includes at least one psychiatrist or physician and other professionals.
  • Notice to Interested Parties: A notice of the guardianship proceedings, which includes the date, place, and time of the hearing, will be served to the ward and all interested parties, including potential guardians, relatives, and any who may have a financial interest.
  • Guardianship Hearing and Appointment of Guardian: A legal hearing is held to decide whether the ward is incapacitated and, if so, to what level. The examining committee will present their findings and recommendations at this time. The court will proceed to determine and appoint the guardian.
  • Guardian’s Oath: The guardian is legally required to take an oath of office and may need to post a bond, which acts as insurance to protect the ward’s assets.
  • Annual Plan and Ongoing Court Oversight: Moving forward, the guardian is required to file annual plans and reports to the court that provide details on the ward’s conditions, medical care, living situation, and financial status. The court will maintain ongoing oversight of the guardianship.


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

A: In the state of Florida, local law requires that an attorney represent guardians in a guardianship case. Florida law recognizes that the complexities and legal implications of guardianship cases require the attentive and experienced legal care that an attorney can offer. Petitioning for guardianship without the help of a lawyer would be nearly impossible.

Q: What Are the Two Types of Guardians?

A: Generally, there are two types of guardianship: guardian of a person and guardian of an estate or property. A guardian of a person is responsible for all decisions regarding personal care and well-being of the ward. A guardian of an estate manages the financial assets and affairs of the ward. In certain instances, one individual may serve as both the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate, taking on full financial and personal responsibilities of the ward.

Q: How Do I Get Guardianship of a Child Without Going to Court in Florida?

A: In St. Augustine, Florida, obtaining guardianship of a child will generally involve a legal process through the court system. Guardianship is a formal legal arrangement in which the court determines a guardian to make decisions for a minor child and requires the court process in order to be legally sound. Attempting to gain guardianship without following the required legal process can have serious legal consequences.

Q: How Do I File Guardianship Papers in Florida?

A: It is first necessary to prepare the required guardianship paperwork and forms, generally available from the circuit court clerk in the county where the incapacitated person resides. After filling out the forms accurately and completely, some forms may require a notarized affidavit or oath. Finally, the completed forms and payment for any required fees should be turned in to the clerk of the circuit court in the correct county.

Contact a St. Augustine Guardianship Lawyer Today

The guardianship requirements and process in St. Augustine may seem overwhelming, but with the support of a family law attorney, you don’t need to worry. Contact the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., today to set up a consultation. Allow our team the opportunity to hear your case and form a detailed and comprehensive legal strategy.

Practice Areas


How Can We Help You?

Contact The Firm Today

Reach Out Today For Clarity, Guidance And Support

Fields marked with an “*” are required

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.