Guardian Advocacy

Oct 21, 2021 - News by

What is Guardian Advocacy?

Guardian Advocacy is a legal proceeding appointing a Guardian Advocate for a developmentally disabled individual over the age of 18. The diagnosis must be identified before the individual turns 18 and constitute a substantial handicap that can reasonably be expected to continue indefinitely. The appointed advocate may be chosen to make personal decisions for the developmentally disabled individual, including residency determination, consent to medical or mental health treatment, and social decisions.

Who is Developmentally Disabled?

An individual who is diagnosed with a disorder or syndrome such as:  cerebral palsy, autism, down syndrome, spina bifida or Prader Willi syndrome is considered developmentally disabled.

When is Guardian Advocacy Appropriate?

When a developmentally disabled individual reaches the age of 18 and is no longer a minor, but still may require aid with daily decision-making tasks – a Guardian Advocacy may be needed. The individual may need guidance with their personal decisions, their property decisions, or both.

What is the process of appointing a guardian advocate?

A Petition for Appointment of a Guardian Advocate for a Person with Developmental Disabilities must be filed by an adult resident of the State of Florida and satisfy requirements of the state. The developmentally disabled individual must be of the petition. A hearing then takes place to determine whether a Guardian Advocate needs to be appointed.

Choosing Your Attorney.

The Guardian Advocacy process can be involved and intricate to decipher. If you are a current parent or caretaker, Landis Graham French, PA is here to help you.  Our Elder Law Team is educated in all elements of guardianship and guardian advocacy. We would be pleased to assist you in navigating the process. Consultations may be requested at 386.734.3451.

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