Over the past several weeks we have looked at a number of issues about guardians in Florida. Understanding what a guardian is, the role guardians play, and what you might be able to do about the situation important regardless of the kind of estate plan you are creating, or the kind of issues you think you might one day face. Because guardians can become involved in almost anyone’s life, and that almost any time, having some basic knowledge about them is useful.
Nevertheless, there are some additional issues that we haven’t covered in this blog series that we would like to take some time to discuss today. So, in our final entry in our guardians in Florida blog series, were going to take a look at some additional issues we haven’t talked about.
Guardians in Florida. What is a guardian ad litem?
A guardian ad litem, or GAL, is a temporary guardian appointed for a limited amount of time and only in specific situations. When a court considers what should happen to an incapacitated person, or believe someone is unable to represent his or her own interests, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem. This guardian is responsible for advocating on behalf of the incapacitated person throughout the course of the hearing or legal process surrounding that person. Once the hearing or process is finished, the Guardian ad litem’s responsibilities also come to an end.
Guardian ad litem’s do not have the legal ability to make decisions on behalf of a ward, and are only there to argue for the ward’s interests through the legal process before a court.
Guardians in Florida. Can I have a guardian removed?
While it is possible to have a guardian removed, or stripped of his or her guardianship responsibilities, it is not a simple process. Just as there is a process that a court must go through when appointing a guardian, so too is there a process that happens if someone wants a guardian removed. If you believe that a guardian is acting inappropriately or not protecting a ward’s interests as he or she is obligated to do, you can ask a Florida court to remove the guardian and name someone else, but you must do so in a specific manner.
Guardians in Florida. Do I need to talk to a lawyer about my guardianship questions?
Yes. Even though we have discussed many guardianship issues in the past and will probably write about them again in the future, nothing you ever read on the Internet is ever a substitute for personalized legal advice. Even if your situation sounds simple, you need to schedule an appointment to talk to us about your guardianship questions so we can give you advice that is applicable to you in your individual circumstances. Should you fail to receive legal advice from experienced attorneys, you could inadvertently harm your ability to protect yourself or your loved ones.