David Howard Goldberg, P.L.

How to fight against an unnecessary guardianship

Many elders in Florida have adult children who help them run errands, travel to doctor appointments and handle things around the house, such as lawn maintenance or household repairs. Some aging parents also rely on their children to help them keep their finances organized. When a parent has several children, problems can arise if, as siblings, they disagree about important issues such as guardianship.

Not every adult child has his or her parent's best interests in mind. In fact, some exhibit lack of good faith in trying to gain control of parents' assets by filing petitions in court to request that they be made legal guardians. Sometimes, guardianship is needed and can help an older person who is suffering mental decline protect his or her estate.

What happens, however, if one sibling files for guardianship of a parent but other siblings adamantly believe their parent is still of sound mind? This was the case between two sisters and a brother in another state. The brother wanted to become legal guardian of their mother but the sisters believed his intentions were corrupt. In such cases, if the parent is indeed of sound mind, he or she can sign powers of attorney to designate someone other than the person trying to obtain guardianship to make financial or medical decisions under incapacitating circumstances.

A person of sound mind may also specify who he or she would like the court to appoint as guardian, as well as who the court should never appoint. There are numerous other things that can be done to prove competency. A Florida attorney experienced in guardianship and other aspects of elder law can provide guidance and support to any man or woman currently facing challenging issues regarding such topics.

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