Welcome residents, friends and supporters


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.


The Elder Law Office of Emma Hemness, P.A. has assisted many of our resident families.

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