Florida Guardianship Lawyer

Plant City Guardianship Lawyers

Our Plant City guardianship lawyers are ready to assist interested persons and clients through the complex procedure of appointment of a guardian. Persons who are mentally or physically incapacitated may need a guardian to handle their affairs. Also, children who have assets often need a guardian. The process of appointing a guardian begins with the filing of a petition to determine incapacity, followed by the application to be appointed guardian. Depending on the circumstances, the process may be contested or uncontested. The attorneys at Byrd & Barnhill are experienced in all types of guardianship cases. We are ready to help you find a workable solution to your guardianship legal issue.

Do You Need Help with a Loved One's Guardianship?

It can be a daunting task to deal with all the issues facing a loved one who needs a guardian. Our attorneys are compassionate and willing to help you through this perplexing time in you family.

Florida Guardianship Law

Guardianship matters are governed and controlled exclusively by Chapter 744 of the Statutes of Florida which contains the general law that governs all matters pertaining to guardians and wards, and the property of wards. There is a two-step procedure to appoint a guardian. First, the process begins with the filing of a petition to determine incapacity of the alleged incapacitated party. Secondly, a petition to appoint a guardian of the person or property, or both, must be filed. Third, the person who seeks to be the guardian must file an application to be appointed by the Court. If the party is determined to be totally or partially incapacitated the Court then will then select a guardian from those persons who have filed applications to be appointed guardian, or appoint a professional guardian.

Guardianship Terms

A “guardian” is someone who acts as the agent for another person who is called the “ward.” The ward is also known as a “incapacitated person.”

An "incapacitated party" is someone who the court finds to lack the capacity to manage at least some of his or her property or to meet at least some of his or her essential health and safety requirements. A “totally incapacitated person” is a person incapable of exercising most all of their rights with certain narrow exceptions.

A court-appointed guardian can be appointed to handle matters relating to a ward's person or property, or both. A guardian can be the guardian of the property or the person of the ward, or both. Or, two different guardians may be appointed, one for the person and one for the property.

When the guardian is appointed to deal with less than all of the ward's rights, he or she is known as a “limited guardian.” When the guardian has full power he or she is known as a “plenary guardian.”

There are also persons who act as guardian as a profession. These persona are know as “professional guardians” and are paid out of the ward's estate for services rendered.

Another type of guardian is a “standby guardian” who is a person designated by the ward prior to the ward becoming incapacitated to assume the duties of guardianship upon the incapacity of the ward.