Guardianship of an Adult
Obtaining the guardianship of an adult is not a long drawn out process as one might think. If everything goes smoothly and it is not contested by anyone, a guardian is generally appointed in roughly 30 days. Once you have obtained an attorney and a Petition to Determine Incapacity and Petition for Appointment of Guardian have been filed with the court, three things are done by the court:
- Three (3) doctors are appointed to examine the potential ward and they must file their reports within 30 days of receiving their appointments.
- An attorney is appointed to represent the ward; and
- A hearing is set on the Petition to Determine Incapacity for roughly 30 days out, depending on the court’s calendar. At the end of this hearing, if the ward is deemed incapacitated, a guardian is appointed.
Becoming a Guardian Advocate for a child with a developmental disability who has turned 18 can be an even faster process if all interested parties (next of kin) sign waivers. Once your attorney has filed a Petition for Appointment of Guardian Advocate with the court, the court appoints an attorney to represent the ward. Once that attorney meets with you and the ward, and a time is set to go before the judge, you are appointed guardian. How long it takes purely depends on how long it takes the court to appoint the attorney, how long it takes for the court appointed attorney to meet with you and the ward, and the court’s calendar. If an interested party has to be properly served of the guardian proceedings, the time is tolled by a minimum of 20 days in order to allow the interested party time to file a response to the petition.
Guardian of the Person and/or Property of a Minor
A Guardian of the person and/or property of a minor is probably the fastest type of guardianship. Once a Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Minor has been filed with the court, you can be appointed as soon as your attorney can get before a judge. Again, however, if an interested party has to be formerly served with the proceedings, the time is tolled by a minimum of 20 days. An attorney is not appointed by the court to represent the minor in most cases.
Remember, according to Florida Law, you cannot petition a court to become a guardian without being represented by an attorney. If you believe someone close to you is in the need of a guardianship, contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC today by calling (904) 685-1200.