Guardianships are legal relationships created by a court when incapacity exists. A guardianship is a court-supervised process of administering and managing an incapacitated person’s financial and medical affairs. The Guardian is the person designated to take charge of this process, and the incapacitate person is called the Ward.
A minor child under the age of eighteen is considered legally incapacitated due to age and must have a guardian appointed if the minor is entitled to money in excess of $15,000.00 in the State of Florida.
A guardianship might also be necessary to protect your elderly loved one in case of mental incapacity. Absent a power of attorney or health care surrogate, guardianship helps protect the vulnerable mentally incapacitated from exploitation.
Warning signs of declining mental capacity are:
- Mishandling of finances with increasing frequency, failing to pay bills, losing money, forgetting the location of bank accounts or hiding money.
- Decline of short-term memory, general forgetfulness.
- Gambling, making unusual purchases, entering an unusual number of contests through magazines or television, increased number of purchases from television and magazine advertisements.
- Change in eating habits, resulting in unusual weight loss or loss of appetite.
- Decline in personal hygiene and general cleanliness habits.
- Exhibiting paranoid behaviors.
- No longer participating in activities that were previously important to them.
- Making new friends who are younger and generally unlikely to befriend an elderly person.
Contact us for a consultation if you believe your friend or family member’s mental faculties are compromised and they can no longer manage their affairs. We can counsel you on how a guardianship can preserve the health, safety, and assets of your loved one. We listen to your concerns and offer guidance to help you make difficult decisions about what you need and when you need it.