A guardianship is a relationship where one person assumes legal responsibility, care and protection of another. Typically, a guardianship applies to children whose parents are no longer able to take care of them or for people over the age of 18 who are mentally or physically incapacitated. People who serve as guardians are generally people who are of sound mind, physical capability and financial stability, and without a criminal record. They may or may not have had a previous relationship with the ward.

There are different types of guardianships that can apply to different situations. Limited guardianships may be appropriate if a ward has the ability to make responsible and informed decisions, but may require help in certain situations. Co-guardianships allows for two guardians to protect the interests of the ward. Guardians of property are primarily utilized in order to provide or manage sufficient monetary resources in order to care for the ward. A guardian ad litem is a guardian appointed by the court in order to protect and manage the ward’s interests during legal proceedings that directly affect the ward, such a the divorce of the ward’s parents.

What is a Guardianship Agreement?

A guardianship agreement is a document that transfers the legal responsibility of a child or adult who requires supervision over to another person. The agreement can be incorporated into a will, or it can be a completely separate affidavit. Guardianship agreements will be different on a case to case basis. Typically, guardianship agreements should contain the parties involved in the agreement, how long the arrangement will last and whether or not there is to be a specific purpose fulfilled by the guardian.

Additionally, a person can be appointed as a “guardian of the estate.” This means that a person can be named guardian over another person’s assets and belongings. For this type of guardianship agreement, it needs to be made clear what property and assets the guardian will be responsible for.

How Long Does a Guardianship Last?

How long a guardianship can last depends upon the needs of the ward. In that case of a guardianship of a minor, a guardianship can last until the child reaches the age of 18. In other cases, guardianships can last indefinitely, such as in the even of an adult guardianship of a mentally disabled individual. Temporary guardianships are possible, and can be terminated once a specific need has been fulfilled by the guardian.

An experienced Fort Lauderdale Guardianship Attorney will be necessary in order to petition the court for the establishment of a guardianship. Additionally, your attorney can assist you in navigating the complicated process often involved in creating a guardianship. Serena Carroll from The Carroll Law Firm is an experienced guardianship lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. For more information about guardianships in Florida, contact Serena Carroll at 954-525-2050.