Miami Guardianship Attorney

Are you concerned about the well-being and care of a loved one who cannot make decisions independently? Whether it’s an aging parent, a child with special needs, or an incapacitated family member, guardianship can provide the legal framework to ensure their safety and protection. Our dedicated Miami guardianship attorney can help.

At Alexander Gil, PLLC, we understand that guardianship is often the last resort for families struggling to plan for the well-being of a loved one in need. Our attorneys will help you determine whether guardianship is right for you, explore alternative options, and, if needed, help you terminate guardianship arrangements that aren’t in your loved one’s best interest.

Contact us today for a solution to your guardianship concerns.

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal arrangement that allows a designated individual, known as a guardian, to make decisions on behalf of someone unable to make decisions independently. This often applies to minors, individuals with disabilities, or elderly individuals with diminished capacity.

For those under guardianship arrangements (wards), particularly adults, guardianship powers can be limited where the ward maintains some control over decision-making or plenary, meaning they are deemed fully incapacitated and have no decision-making powers.

Guardianship should be considered if you are concerned about an aging parent, have minor children, or have a loved one with special needs. At Alexander Gil, PLLC, we help you seek guardianship or designate a guardian to be granted custody and control by the court to ensure your loved one has adequate medical attention, an acceptable place to live, essential nutrition, and other unique requirements.

Children with Special Needs

When your child turns 18, the law considers them an adult. However, a child with special needs may still need to be in your care. By establishing a special needs guardianship or guardian advocacy, you will ensure that you can continue to make important decisions on behalf of your child.

If parents die or can no longer continue the role of guardian, having a family member or friend as a successor guardian can help to create a smoother transition for the adult with special needs through what is already a tumultuous time.

Adults with Disabilities or Aging Parents

Guardianship becomes necessary in catastrophic medical events when there is no advance directive and when a person doesn’t understand that their health situation requires moving to a safer environment.

Establishing guardianship in Florida is a tedious undertaking. Alexander Gil, PLLC, will support you through the entire process, from filing the petition to gathering and submitting medical evaluations in court.

Contact us to establish a clear roadmap for your family’s future.

Types of Guardianship in Florida

In Florida, guardianship arrangements tend to fall under five categories. These include:

1. Guardian of the Person

The guardian of the person is granted the authority to exercise the personal rights that have been removed from the ward. This may include the right to make decisions regarding their residence, medical treatment, social environment, and more. The guardian of the person is also responsible for filing necessary reports, such as the Initial Plan and Annual Plans, with the court.

2. Guardian of the Property

The guardian of the property is responsible for making decisions regarding the ward’s property. However, the guardian of the property does not have the authority to sell, transfer, mortgage, or donate any property without prior approval from the court. The guardian of the property is responsible for ensuring that the ward’s assets are properly managed, and they must file the Initial Inventory and Annual Accounting with the court.

3. Guardian of the Person and Property

The guardian of the person and property is responsible for making decisions concerning the ward’s personal and property rights. This type of guardianship requires filing all the necessary initial and annual reports with the court.

4. Guardian Advocacy

The guardian advocate can be either of the person, the property, or the person and the property. This is for individuals that have been diagnosed with a disability prior to the age of 18, and that can retain at least one of their delegable rights.  This type of guardianship is similar to the regular guardianship. However, the process for obtaining the guardianship is a bit more streamlined.

5. Guardian of a Minor

In cases where a minor receives a net settlement, judgment, or inheritance over $15,000 resulting from personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death, a guardian of the property is required to be appointed. The court may appoint a parent, sibling, next of kin, or another person interested in the minor’s welfare as the guardian. It’s important to note that guardianship of a minor should not be confused with custody of the minor. Additionally, where a minor child’s natural guardians (parents) are unable to care for the child, a guardian of the person is required for the minor child.

Pros and Cons of Guardianship Arrangements

Guardianship protects those who can’t make decisions for themselves. While it provides essential support and safeguards, they do come at a cost.

Here are some pros and cons of guardianship arrangements:

  • Pro: Vulnerable individuals receive care, support, and protection from financial abuse and neglect.
  • Pro: The appointed guardian has the legal authority to make decisions about healthcare, finances, and other aspects of the ward’s life, prioritizing their well-being.
  • Pro: Guardians manage the ward’s finances, including budgeting, paying bills, and safeguarding their assets.
  • Con: Wards lose some autonomy and independence, as they no longer have the final say in certain aspects of their life.
  • Con: There have been instances where guardians have abused their authority or failed to act in the ward’s best interests.
  • Con: Guardianship proceedings can be time-consuming, complex, and costly.

Weighing the pros and cons of guardianship can help you decide whether it’s the most suitable option for your loved one. Consulting with a Miami Guardianship Attorney can provide further guidance and insight based on specific circumstances.

Less Restrictive Alternatives to Guardianship in Florida

While guardianship can be a suitable option in some cases, alternative options may offer a less restrictive approach to decision-making and support.

Here are some alternatives to guardianship that individuals and families can consider:

Power of Attorney (POA)

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants decision-making authority to an appointed agent, known as an attorney-in-fact or agent. This document is included in a comprehensive estate plan and tailored to finances, allowing individuals to delegate decision-making while retaining some level of control.

Advance Directives

Advance directives, including living wills and healthcare surrogates, enable individuals to express their healthcare preferences and appoint a trusted person to make medical decisions if incapacitated.

Special Needs Trusts

For individuals with disabilities who may require ongoing financial management and support, a special needs trust can be established. This trust holds assets for the benefit of the individual and is managed by a trustee.

Supported Decision Making

Supported Decision Making was just passed by the Florida House and Senate. A Supported Decision-Making Agreement can be established when an individual needs assistance but wishes to retain control over decision-making. The agreement authorizes the supporter to assist with communication and decision-making, but the agreement cannot bind the individual with disabilities to any action of the supporter.

Each situation is unique, and exploring these alternatives can help tailor the support and decision-making framework to best meet the individual’s needs while respecting their autonomy.

Get Simple Solutions to Complex Guardianship Issues

Navigating guardianship matters can be complex. But, with help from a Miami Guardianship Attorney, you can find simple solutions to even the most complex guardianship issues.

Whether establishing guardianship, handling disputes, administering or terminating guardianship, our experienced attorneys can provide valuable guidance and representation.

Establishing Guardianship

Establishing guardianship involves petitioning the court for guardianship and presenting your case in court. Our attorneys can conduct a legal assessment to determine the need for guardianship and guide you through preparing and filing the necessary legal documents. We can represent you in court hearings, advocating for the appointment of the proposed guardian.

Guardianship Litigation

When disputes over guardianship happen, our guardianship attorneys can step in to represent you in guardianship litigation, including contesting and defending against guardianship petitions. If someone opposes a proposed guardianship, we can contest the petition, presenting evidence and arguments favoring your position.

Terminating Guardianship

In certain situations, guardianship may no longer be necessary or appropriate. Our attorneys can help you navigate terminating guardianship, including preparing and filing a petition for termination and representing you in court if a hearing is required.

Guardianship matters can be intricate, and having a knowledgeable attorney is invaluable. We provide guidance, representation, and peace of mind throughout the entire guardianship journey.

Contact Alexander Gil, PLLC Today

As your trusted legal advisors at Alexander Gil, PLLC, we understand how difficult it can be to navigate guardianship matters. We empathize with the challenges you and your loved ones may face, and we are here to help.

Our team provides simple solutions to even the most complex guardianship issues. No matter what your needs may be – whether it’s establishing guardianship, resolving disputes, or terminating guardianship – we will guide and support you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Alex has been amazing throughout the whole process of my estate planning. He was able to make recommendations based on my family of what pieces to set up and walked me through why he recommended each. He's prompt on his follow up for questions and has made understanding all the documents really easy. I dreaded having to do the process until I was able to meet with Alex and calmed me down and made me feel good about the process. I'd give him 10 stars if I could.

C. U.

We recently had a beloved family member pass away and we had several questions regarding the estate. In just one thirty minute consultation, Alexander Gil identified the key issues for us to consider and provided the answers we needed to decide how to move forward. Alex followed up on our consult by reviewing documents we provided him and confirming his assessment of the situation. Our family was very impressed with his ready knowledge and caring attitude. We will certainly be engaging Alex's firm to handle our estate planning needs.

A. G.

If you ever find yourself looking for an estate planning attorney, words cannot express how much I recommend Alexander Gil. Virtual meetings where we have discussed legal matters have always been a breeze. Alex is a genuine and caring attorney who will always advocate for his clients. It's easy to tell he's not just in it for the job; he's in it to get the best for you. His expertise is unmatched and is devoted to making the process as least intimidating as possible.

M. R.

I first meet Alex when he was presenting for parents on Wills and Trusts and immediately was impressed with his approach and understanding. We proceeded with his services. Not only was he professional but he was very understanding and took the time to hear us and explain every step while answering every question we had. As a parent of a special needs adult, the process can be overwhelming and somewhat depressing but he assured us and helped us feel very good about our plans. He is now our attorney for life! Thanks Alex!!

Y. H.

Alex Gil worked with me at a very difficult time in my life. My partner had just passed away and Alex was there for me every step of the way to handle the execution of her Will and Trust. Alex ALWAYS was responsive and provided expert advice and this in my opinion is what separates Alex Gil. I have worked with many attorneys in my life due to owning my own business for the last 30 years and I HIGHLY recommend Alex based on responsiveness and cost!

A. K.