Guardianship is a process which removes rights from an individual who has been legally determined to be incapable of making personal and/or financial decisions due to a mental or physical incapacity. Once a person has been declared to be incapacitated, the court will appoint a guardian to exercise those rights which have been removed. A guardianship should only be considered if there are no lesser restrictive alternatives available such as health care surrogate or a power of attorney.
A Plenary Guardianship is a guardianship which has removed all of the individual’s rights over his or her person and property. Some of these rights include the right to vote, to marry, to travel, to drive, to seek employment, and to manage his or her property. In a Limited Guardianship, only some of the individual’s rights are removed.
A guardianship over the property of a minor is necessary when a minor receives assets in excess of $15,000. A guardianship over a minor is also necessary if the parents die or become incapacitated. Guardianships of a minor do not involve a determination of incapacity.
A guardianship is also frequently necessary when a disabled child turns 18. Parents, who have been making decisions for a disabled child, are often surprised to find out that once their child turns 18 they can no longer make those decisions, even though their child has been determined to be disabled. For example, the parent will no longer be able to make medical decisions or receive medical information for their child unless they have been legally appointed as the guardian.
If you have a family member or friend who may need a guardianship, the Niebla Probate Firm can assist you with this difficult and stressful process. To schedule a consultation, contact us at (305) 912-6768, or online by clicking here.
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