Noah's Ark of Central Florida

Empowering people who have developmental disabilities to live, laugh and love

Guardianship

In Florida, when an individual turns eighteen (18) years old, they are considered a “competent adult” regardless of their disability.  This leaves them vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and exploitation on many levels.  Many parents mistakenly believe they remain “natural guardians” because their adult-aged child is disabled.  THIS IS NOT TRUE!

Guardianship Defined

Guardianship is required when a person is incapacitated or impaired and is established through a legal proceeding in the County where a person resides. Guardianship can be for minors or adults.

Voluntary Guardianships are when a person who is beginning to fail physically or mentally but still has capacity to make decisions feels it is in his/her best interest to have a family member or other third party serve in a court appointed position as guardian to manage the person’s financial decisions.

Involuntary Guardianship occurs (in most instances) where a person is already incapable of making informed decisions for himself or herself. In those cases a relative or other third party believes it is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the person or his/her property and initiates a proceeding to first have the person adjudicated incapacitated and then have a guardian appointed.

Guardian Advocate

A Guardian-Advocate is a flexible type of guardianship proceeding specifically designed for adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities. It is a streamlined form of guardianship that is much more affordable to obtain; helps protect the rights of the person and their property; and allows for the restoration of a person’s rights should the individual demonstrate appropriate levels of capacity in the future.

Questions?

If you have guardianship questions, we have an attorney that will answer your questions and explain things in a way that is straight-forward and understandable. Please contact Gerald Hemness (he’s located in Brandon) telephone (813) 661-5297.

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