Florida Guardian Advocacy: How do I remain the Guardian of my special needs child?
In Florida, remaining the Guardian of my special needs child upon reaching the age of majority, 18 years, requires the parent to become the legal Guardian of the child through the Court system. Becoming a guardian is a legal proceeding. Typically a family member, petitions a court to determine that the individual cannot manage his or her affairs because of a disability (a lack of capacity). A guardian is the person appointed by a court to manage the affairs of the person with the disability. The Guardian’s role is to step into the shoes of the person with the disability and make decisions for them. There are two types of guardianships for an adult defined by the Florida Statutes: Guardianship of an Adult and Guardian Advocacy.
What is the difference between Guardianship of an Adult and Guardian Advocacy?
Guardianship of an Adult is intended for any adult with a disability. Obtaining guardianship of an adult can be expensive and is a more complicated process. Someone must petition a court to become a guardian and must also petition the court to determine whether the person with the disability lacks the capacity to make his or her own decisions. Determining whether an adult lacks the capacity to make his or her own decisions requires the court to appoint an examining committee to evaluate the person with the disability and file reports with the Court. Each of 3 medical professionals on the examining committee will prepare a report to inform the Court whether the person with the disability needs a guardian.