Guardianship Advocacy VS. Guardianship
Guardian Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities:
The age of majority in Florida is 18. Florida’s Chapter 393 within the statutes is considered Florida’s “developmental disabilities statute” and not only defines who is eligible for state funded services targeting persons with developmental disabilities, but also people for whom guardian advocacy can be used as a decision making option.
Chapter 393.12 addresses the process to follow to be appointed a guardian advocate for a person with developmental disabilities.
Generally the difference between guardian advocacy and guardianship in Florida, is the process to gain the authority. For guardian advocacy under 393.12, F.S., the process does not include an adjudication of incapacity. However, the duties and responsibilities are identical for guardian advocates under this chapter and guardians appointed under Chapter 744.361 – .462.
If you are the parent or friend or relative of a developmentally disabled person who is about to turn 18, or who has turned 18 and who has not had a formal guardian named for him or her, contact The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. to inquire about our legal services to assist you in petitioning the court to appoint a Guardian Advocate for this individual. Initial consultations for Guardian Advocacies are free as Attorney Peshke wants you to feel comfortable meeting with her and discussing the process without the worry or stress of an hourly fee.
Upon turning 18, despite the fact that you may have cared for your friend or loved one his or her entire life, in the eyes of the law, an individual is an adult and if he or she has a documented developmental disability, a guardian must be legally named for you to continue assisting the individual with decisions related to his or her education, health, welfare, finances, general rights to contract, and the like. This requirement to have a formal guardian advocate named includes even parents of an individual with a documented disability who turns 18.
If you think your friend or loved one could benefit from having a guardian advocate named for him or her, contact The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. today to discuss this option as an alternative to a formal guardianship.
What happens to a person when he or she is no longer able to make safe or sound decisions about his or her person and property? Guardianship is the process that can assist with these matters.
Guardianship is a legal proceeding in the circuit court of Florida and begins with a determination of the individual’s capacity, or lack thereof. If an individual has been adjudicated as incapacitated, or lacking the capacity to care for himself or herself and his or her affairs, a guardian is appointed by the court. The guardian can be either an individual or a non-profit organization or a financial institution, and the guardian exercises the delegable legal rights for the incapacitated person, who is referred to as a “ward”.
A guardian will make decisions concerning the ward’s living arrangements, medical decisions, financial responsibilities and any other particular needs of the ward, and will implement a plan to assure the client receives the highest quality of care possible.
Florida has special laws that govern guardianship proceedings and guardian activities, all designed and implemented with the goal of protecting the rights and interests of the ward. A Florida guardian is accountable to the local court and is required to report annually on the status of their ward and account for all financial activity.
If you think you need to seek a guardianship to protect a loved one, or, if you would like help in determining whether a guardianship is appropriate, please contact The Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. for a consultation with Attorney Peshke. Ms. Peshke desires to use the initial consultation time as an opportunity for her to get to know her potential client, and to give the potential client the opportunity to meet and talk freely about his or her concerns and questions related to the guardianship process. Contact the Law Offices of Jennifer D. Peshke, P.A. today to discuss your guardianship related questions and concerns at 772-231-1233.