A guardianship is vastly different than a conservatorship in Florida. A conservatorship addresses the estate of a person who is missing and often presumed dead. It helps other family members move on while settling the estate of the absent individual.
By contrast, Florida guardianships help adults who can no longer take care of themselves properly. It is a legal estate planning tool that allows another party, the guardian, to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated adult.
What tasks do guardians perform?
As the term implies, a guardian looks out for the incapacitated adult’s best interests. In some cases, this may involve making financial decisions on behalf of that person. For example, the guardian may make investments using funds from the individual’s estate. Guardians can also make personal decisions for the incapacitated person. Examples of such decisions include:
- Acquiring medical treatment
- Making decisions about mental health care
- Acquiring appropriate residential accommodations
- Helping with the individual’s personal needs
The person serving as a guardian is accountable for the decisions made for an incapacitated adult. Guardians must file financial and other reports to show courts that the adult’s rights always remain protected.
Is it difficult to set up a guardianship?
It is not so much difficult as it is complicated. Only the law can decide if an adult requires a guardianship because courts strive to avoid compromising a person’s independence. Courts in Florida try to select the least restrictive form of protection for adults in need of help.
In many cases, an estate planning professional fills a vital role for families concerned about an adult. For example, an attorney can help you examine all of the options at your disposal before you make legally binding decisions for your loved one.