The Importance of Guardianship


There are two major types of Guardianships, a guardian of a person’s property is appointed when an individual lacks the capacity to make decisions regarding their financial assets and liabilities. A guardian of the person is somebody who is appointed to determine aspects to where the person will live, medical care, and there day to day activities.

Elderly people are the most common group who needs to be appointed guardians for either there property or there person or both. Diseases in this country such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Senility cause people to become forgetful, lose things, and mismanage their affairs. In addition, to diseases effecting people’s minds the elderly become physically incapable of taking care of themselves and many require full-time nursing assistance.

Difficult decisions have to be made and these decisions have to be made predominately by family members. Not all family members agree as how their relative should be treated or where the relative should be placed. This often leads to litigation in which family members sometimes have to fight with each other.

There are also a great variety of assisted living facilities and based upon their quality and cost it is difficult for people to agree on their relative’s placement. There is also a difficult decision whether or not a person needs full-time or part-time nursing care. These decisions are extremely complicated because the cost is directly relevant to the quality of care that the relative will receive and how these costs are paid will also directly impact the family.

It is in the best interest of all concern that in any guardianship involving a relative that the family member seeking to be named a legal guardian of either the property or the person or both live in close proximity to the relative with whom they are seeking to have a guardian ship. This allows the potential guardian to be aware of the type of treatment that the relative is receiving and to manage their finances as well as their medications. Being a guardian is a major responsibility, because many times the relative will be resentful of the changes being made in their lives. Other times the relatives will be completely unaware that they are being taken care of by their relative. The love of the relative is the only reward for this difficult and often painful responsibility.

In the State of Florida, when a minor child turns eighteen years old the minor child becomes an adult. An adult is capable of making decisions and has certain rights. They can enter into contracts, vote, determine where they live, marry, travel, and sue people as some of their rights.

The question arises as to what should happen when an autistic child becomes an adult and is incapable of making the important decisions in their lives. The parents of the minor child are required to file a petition for incapacity or to seek a Guardianship for the minor child’s person and property.