When Guardianship Questions May Lead To Litigation
Guardianship is a process where the courts evaluate an individual’s capacity and, if necessary, appoint a guardian to manage the person’s financial affairs and make decisions that the incapacitated person is incapable of making for themselves. Considering guardianship as a solution for someone’s needs for oversight is one thing. Carrying it out without difficulties and challenges is another.
In some cases, the need for a guardianship is clear and undisputed. In others, the situation is much more complicated. At Forgione Law in Stuart, Florida, people with concerns about guardianships find answers and advocacy. Attorney Forgione helps people protect their loved ones from exploitation and helps wards (people for whom guardians have been appointed) discover paths to liberation from unjustified guardianships.
When Oppositions Arise About A Proposed Or Existing Guardianship
The extent of a person’s incapacity can be unclear to them and others close to them. An incapacitated person may not realize the effects of their decline. Perhaps the person has been strong and independent throughout much of their life, and they or others who care about them question whether guardianship is appropriate. Other family members, friends or caretakers may be manipulating the incapacitated person for their own personal gain.
Regardless of the reasons for challenges over guardianships, legal action may become necessary to straighten out a situation. Guardianship disputes generally arise over any of the following processes:
- The establishment or termination of the guardianship
- The administration of a guardianship
- A guardian’s handling of financial accounts
- The termination of a guardianship
Disputes regarding the establishment or termination of a guardianship generally center around:
- Whether the alleged incapacitated person legally lacks capacity
- What rights will be removed and retained
- Whether there are lesser restrictive alternatives to guardianship, such as a durable power of attorney;
- Who will serve as a guardian
If a guardianship is imposed by a court, then the guardian must perform various duties to administer the guardianship. Like a personal representative of an estate or a trustee of a trust, a guardian is a fiduciary and must act in the best interests of the incapacitated person.
If the guardian breaches their fiduciary duties by, for example, improperly taking or spending the incapacitated person’s assets, then an interested person, such as a family member, can seek to:
- Have the guardian removed
- Have the guardian personally pay back improperly taken assets
- Have other forms of relief imposed
Turn to an experienced, trusted probate litigation attorney at Forgione Law to discuss resolutions for your guardianship dispute.
Get The Guidance That You Need To Resolve Disputes Over A Guardianship
Guardianship is a tough and serious process. At Forgione Law, the attorney has extensive experience representing beneficiaries and fiduciaries in guardianship disputes, including those that lead to litigation.
If you have questions about guardianship, or if you are a guardian seeking guidance, please contact Forgione Law at 561-730-3926 or send an email inquiry to schedule a consultation and discover answers.