When a child turns 18 years old, their parents can no longer make decisions on their behalf; however, when a child has developmental disabilities, their parents may still need to exercise decision making authority for their benefit. In this situation, a parent or loved one may be appointed a guardian advocate by the Florida court. The knowledgeable attorneys at The Soto Law Office have helped many people around the Altamonte Springs area with their guardianship needs and are prepared to answer all your legal questions about becoming a guardian advocate. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
What is a Guardian Advocate?
A guardian advocate is specifically reserved for situations where a loved one with a developmental disability or mental illness needs help making decisions in their best interest. In order to qualify as developmentally disabled, a person must be diagnosed with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Prader-Willi, Down or Phelan-McDermid syndromes prior to the age of 18, and have a substantial handicap that is expected to continue indefinitely. However, unlike with other types of guardianships, a guardian advocate does not need the court to determine that their loved one with a disability is legally incapacitated. Instead, a letter from your child’s current physician is submitted to the court.
A guardian advocate can make decisions for the person, their property, or both. An advocate over the person can make decisions about where their loved one should live, medical and mental health decisions, and determinations about social situations. A guardian advocate of property can make decisions regarding any lawsuits, contracts, real estate, or making gifts on a person’s behalf, and a guardian advocate of both has decision making authority over it all.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Having an attorney by your side throughout the appointment process as a guardian advocate has many benefits. A lawyer can ensure that the proper forms are filled out correctly and filed with the court. An attorney can also explain what is expected of you as a guardian advocate, such as filing reports with the court, completing required training, and more. Finally, a lawyer can advocate for you in court as to why you should be appointed a guardian advocate for your loved one.
Call or Contact Us Now
Do you wish to learn more about being a guardian advocate for someone with developmental disabilities or mental illness? If so, call or contact The Soto Law Office today.