Articles Posted in Guardianship

A Gainesville FL guardianship attorney at Florida Probate Law Group can advise you about your specific guardianship matter. Our guardianship attorneys work state wide on a flat fee basis, helping families in every Florida County. Call us at (352) 354-2654 or read more about guardianship below before contacting an attorney:

Our Gainesville FL Guardianship Lawyers are Here for You

Holding HandsWhen a person lacks the capacity to care for themselves or make decisions, Florida law provides a way for their family (or a professional guardian) to be appointed as their legal guardian and to make decisions for the incapacitated person (known as the ward). Depending on the situation, there are different types of guardianship proceedings

PiggybankChild settlements requiring a guardian ad litem in Florida can slow down the resolution of a case, however it is possible to have this requirement waived. In many child injury claims, it is within the court’s power to require a guardian ad litem to submit an opinion on the adequacy of a proposed settlement. While the intention of this rule is good, securing a GAL report may be redundant and can sometimes be avoided. Although Florida Statute section 744.3025(1)(b) provides that a guardian ad litem (GAL) is to be appointed when a minor’s settlement equals or exceeds $50,000.00, section 744.3025(1)(e) dispenses of the requirement if a guardian of the minor is appointed and the guardian has no potential adverse interest.

Because minor settlements netting more than $15,000.00 to the minor already require a guardian of the property (a different role than a GAL) to be appointed, the exception contained in section 744.3025(1)(e) is applicable more often than not. Section 744.3025(1)(e) reads as follows: “A court need not appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor if a guardian of the minor has previously been appointed and that guardian has no potential adverse interest to the minor. A court may appoint a guardian ad litem if the court believes a guardian ad litem is necessary to protect the interests of the minor.”

Thus, when a guardian of the property with no adverse interest to the minor is appointed to facilitate the settlement, the court may waive the requirement for a GAL.

Orange and AppleOur firm is sometimes brought into a case after another probate/guardianship firm has begun the estate administration or guardianship process, but has not been able to competently usher a settlement through the various obstacles associated with child injury and wrongful death cases in Florida. I have been shocked by “normal” probate attorneys neglecting to protect the interests of plaintiff’s firms, despite the work of the plaintiff’s firms to create windfall settlements benefiting the estate or injured child. Probate firms with practices comprised of mostly non-settlement related cases may not have the requisite knowledge of Florida’s statutory settlement schemes and related case law to:

  1. Protect settlements from creditors
  2. Ensure efficient settlement approval

Florida Probate Law Group has facilitated millions of dollars in wrongful death and child injury settlements. Why do injury attorneys turn to us to handle these important issues?

Protecting Client Funds

We are experienced in defeating liens and claims in wrongful death cases. Sometimes, plaintiff’s attorneys ask us “are you sure this is legal?” the first time we neutralize a five or six figure threat to a pending settlement. We assure you it is not only legal, but part of our professional and ethical responsibility towards the settlement recipient. Read more about that process here.

When a guardianship is secured, a bevy of new responsibilities arise, which, if left ignored, will raise the ire of the Circuit Court and land both the Guardian and their attorney in front of an annoyed Judge. By keeping important dates calendared and filing required paperwork on time, attorneys can keep their guardianship cases running smoothly.

There are three main categories of compliance to be addressed:Clock

  1. Guardianship Education Course
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