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What are the Qualifications for Guardianship for a Bonita Springs Special Needs Individual

Special Needs Man

When a court decides that a special needs individual needs someone to act as their legal representative, that individual is referred to as a ward of the state. The first order of business for the courts is to assign a guardian for the ward. In Bonita Springs, the courts like to act quickly in these cases to help protect the interests of the ward. That is why it is important for Bonita Springs families to understand the qualifications for being a guardian in the event that the family experiences an unexpected tragedy.

Why Assign a Guardian?

A ward can be a special need child whose parents have recently passed away, a special needs adult whose previous guardian has either passed away or is no longer able to offer support, or a family member who has experienced a trauma that has left them incapacitated. The courts will decide if the special needs person needs a guardian, and if a guardian is needed then one is assigned.

Who Can be a Guardian?

Any capable adult can be considered a guardian by the courts. That list includes:

  • Parents
  • Spouses
  • Siblings
  • Family friend
  • Professional guardian

The court is going to assign a person they feel is capable of being a guardian, and who would want to take on the responsibility.

What Does a Guardian do?

A guardian is responsible for all legal, medical, financial, and personal needs of the ward. The guardian is charged with making all decisions for the ward, and the guardian is also responsible for acting in the ward’s best interests in all cases. In most cases, the guardian reports to the courts on a regular basis to review the situation and get any instructions from the court on handling certain issues.

Special Needs Trust

Part of being a guardian is bearing the financial responsibility that goes with the ward’s particular condition. The state of Florida does offer public assistance in many instances, but that financial assistance can be limiting. The family can establish a special needs trust that can be a place where assets can be collected and utilized on behalf of the ward, but without harming the ward’s chances of being denied public assistance. This can be an excellent way for the entire family to help defray the financial challenge of caring for a special needs individual away from one individual. Our firm has years and years of experience in helping families to petition the courts to select certain guardians, and in setting up special needs trusts to help spread out the financial costs throughout the entire family. We invite you to call one of our special needs attorneys today and let us help you provide the care and love your special needs family member deserves.

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