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Answers to your guardianship questions

If you have recently determined that a loved one is incapacitated and no longer able to make sound decisions for his or her well-being, then you may also be engaged in talks with family regarding your loved one's future. Or you may have taken the burden of single-handedly attempting to make the right decisions.

First, it may be beneficial to know that if your loved one has already been proactive in planning and has in place a durable power of attorney, advanced care directive or trust, the state prefers to use the least invasively restricting option. In a case such as this, your fulfillment of the role as a guardian may not even be necessary. Keep in mind that proactive planning such as this is also a great thing for you to do in the event that you are ever determined to be incapacitated. It could be a huge relief for your family and loved ones.

A guardian is someone who will be held in charge of making decisions for the incapacitated person. Outside of a public or financial institution serving as a guardian, most guardians should be bonded and may need to complete training. However, a guardian does not have to be a permanent role. Sometimes what causes the incapacitation is temporary or treatable. Other times, if the guardian is determined to be unfitĀ for his or her responsibilities, they may be removed by the court.

Then, in essence, the guardian assists in decision-making only in areas where the ward is determined to be unable to make sound decisions anymore.

If you are considering your options for a family member that may be incapacitated, a Florida attorney well-versed in planning and guardianship may be your best resource in ensuring your loved one is well taken care of.

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