GMR’s Guardianship Support provides assisatnce to the guardian in identifying and delineating the needs of the disabled individual. GMR develops an annual plan of care for the client for presentation to the Court that appointed the guardian.
GMR will prepare status reports for the Court, recommend available services to carry out necessary care programs, identify government benefits that could be coordinated with the client’s assets, prepare monthly and annual budgets, monitor and coordinate care furnished by service providers, and serve as an advisor to the guardian in the selection of equipment, supplies and other services.
Types of Guardianship
The parent of a child is their Natural Guardian. However, if the child receives more than $15,000. because of a settlement, an inheritance or a gift, someone must be appointed by the court as the guardian of the minor’s property.
If you are unable to manage your property but are considered mentally competent, the court appoints a guardian to help you manage your affairs. This is something that you decide voluntarily; you can change your mind by going back to court later.
This is used when an individual lacks capacity. Mental capacity is defined in the Florida Statutes as the “ability to manage at least some of the property or to meet at least some of the essential health and safety requirements.” An assessment of the person’s mental capacity is made by an examining committee and a Hearing to Determine Incapacity is held to allow testimony regarding the individual’s abilities, decide what Rights (if any) should be removed and to determine the need for guardianship.
Emergency Temporary Guardianship
If you seem to be in imminent danger and your decision-making ability is questioned in court, the judge can appoint a temporary guardian for you. This type of guardianship expires if the court does not appoint a permanent guardian.
If the court finds that you are incapacitated only in specific areas, it can appoint a guardian to help you in those areas.
Plenary (Full) Guardianship
When the court finds that you are totally unable to make decisions for yourself, it transfers all of your legal rights—concerning you and your property—to a guardian.
Important Points To Remember:
- Explore the least restrictive options first.
- Do research or get legal advice before making any decision involving your rights.
- Before choosing someone you trust to make decisions for you, make sure they are willing to do so.
- Both you and the person you choose should keep copies of the papers that name the other person as your legal representative.
What are your rights?
Your legal rights give you the ability, under the law, to make decisions that affect your quality of life. For example, they include the right to:
- choose where to live
- manage money and property
- agree to medical or dental treatments
- apply for government benefits
- choose your social activities
- sign contracts
- file a lawsuit
Getting help with decision making does not have to mean guardianship, but it might mean assigning some of your rights to someone else—a very important step.
The least restrictive option that meets your needs should be considered first. With any option, you decide what rights to give to your representative.
Advance Directive – An advance directive is a written document that expresses your desires concerning health care. Here are some examples:
Power of Attorney – This gives the person you choose the legal authority to make decisions for you on specific matters. Any legally competent adult can give a power of attorney to another adult. A durable power of attorney remains in effect if you become incapacitated later, and it can be written so that it does not go into effect until you are unable to manage your affairs.
Living Will – A living will expresses whether or not you want life-prolonging medical treatments to continue if you are unable to make or express your own decisions and have a terminal or end-stage condition.
Health Care Surrogate – This document names another person as your representative to make medical decisions
for you if you are unable to make them.
Co-signer on Bank Account – This is an easy way to get help in managing your money. It can mean that you and someone you have chosen must both sign all of your checks—called an “and” account. Or, it can be set up so that either of you can sign them—an “or” account.
Make sure that either of the signers can access the account if something were to happen to the other person.