What is Guardianship? Guardianship rules vary from state to state. One resource that provides up-to-date information related to family legal rights for the state of Florida is The Disability Rights of Florida website Click Here
In Florida, a family may opt for full guardianship where the individual with disabilities has very limited choice making options. This level of guardianship is designed for those who are judged legally incapable of making personal decisions. Included in full guardianship can be decisions regard health care, establishing a home, voting or getting married. For every person with a guardianship ruling, the guardianship papers must be filed in court, before a judge, to be binding.
There are other types of guardianship that are less restrictive than full guardianship. These options (conservatorship, limited guardianship, emergency/temporary guardianship, guardian advocate/ voluntary guardianship) are preferred by advocates for individuals with disabilities. These types of guardianship still require the family and the individual to agree on the level of guardianship, as well as being filed in court. A conservatorship is usually established to manage financial concerns of an individual with disabilities but has little to do with other rights of adulthood (marriage, voting, and working). A conservator is appointed to act on the behalf of the individual in matters of managing money and property. The process for conservatorship is similar to guardianship in that it is a legal process requiring a special needs lawyer to facilitate the transfer of rights legally binding.
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