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Understanding Guardian Advocacy in Florida: A Compassionate Approach for Families

Navigating the complexities of guardianship can be a challenging journey for families, especially those caring for a loved one with a developmental disability. In Florida, Guardian Advocacy stands out as a unique legal process tailored to support these families. At [Your Law Firm's Name], we understand the importance of providing clear, compassionate guidance on this topic. In this blog post, we delve into what Guardian Advocacy in Florida entails and how it can be a vital tool for families seeking to protect and support their loved ones.

What is Guardian Advocacy?

Guardian Advocacy in Florida is a legal process designed specifically for individuals with developmental disabilities who lack the capacity to do some, but not all, of the tasks necessary to care for themselves and manage their affairs. This process is distinct from traditional guardianship because it's tailored for those whose disabilities were evident before reaching the age of 18 and who require ongoing support into adulthood.

Who Needs a Guardian Advocate?

A Guardian Advocate is often necessary for adults with developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Prader-Willi syndrome, Down syndrome, or Phelan-McDermid syndrome. These individuals may be capable of making some decisions but need assistance with complex matters like financial management or healthcare decisions.

The Process of Appointing a Guardian Advocate

The process begins with filing a petition in the probate court of the county where the person with a developmental disability resides. Unlike traditional guardianship, a medical examination may not be required. The court then reviews the petition to determine if a Guardian Advocate is necessary and, if so, who should be appointed.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Guardian Advocate

A Guardian Advocate's role is to assist the ward in decision-making processes, ensuring their best interests are always at the forefront. This may involve:

  • Making financial decisions

  • Overseeing medical care

  • Ensuring the ward's social and personal needs are met

Importantly, the Guardian Advocate works collaboratively with the ward, encouraging as much autonomy and self-reliance as possible.

Legal Support and Guidance

At Yergey and Yergey, P.A., we recognize the sensitivity and importance of Guardian Advocacy. Our experienced team is dedicated to guiding families through this process with empathy and expertise. We provide comprehensive legal support, from preparing and filing the necessary documents to representing families in court.

Guardian Advocacy in Florida is more than a legal process; it's a pathway to empowerment for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. It ensures that their unique needs are met with dignity and respect. If you believe Guardian Advocacy might be right for your family, or if you have any questions about this process, [Your Law Firm's Name] is here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you in this important journey.

Yergey and Yergey, P.A.

211 N. Magnolia Avenue

Orlando, Florida 32801

(407) 843-0430

P.S. Remember, seeking legal guidance is not just about navigating the law; it's about finding a partner who understands your journey and stands with you every step of the way. Let's walk this path together.

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