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Tampa Guardianship Lawyer Helps You Protect the Ones You Love

Triple Board-Certified Attorney Provides Determined Representation

Guardianship is a legal construct that gives one person authority to make decisions for the health and welfare of another. If you are responsible for a dependent minor, an elderly adult or a disabled adult, you have probably wondered about the concept of guardianship. Can you appoint guardians for your children? Can you assume guardianship of an adult? On the other hand, you might be dealing with a relative who is aggressively seeking to become your guardian before you are ready to surrender your autonomy. At Sessums Law Group, P.A., we’re prepared to assist you with all these circumstances so you can overcome legal hurdles and achieve the best results for you and your loved one.

Guardianship of a Child in Florida

Florida law requires that a guardian be appointed for a child under certain circumstances:

  • The parents die or become incapacitated.
  • The child receives an inheritance, insurance payout or proceeds from a lawsuit in excess of the statutory limit of $15,000.

If you have minor children, you might want to appoint a guardian in your will. However, this appointment does not become legal until the court approves and appoints the guardian after your passing. If you are a close relative of a child whose parents have passed away, you might want to be appointed guardian. Our family lawyers can guide you through the process toward the best outcome for all concerned.

Guardianship for an Adult in Florida

Florida is known to have a high percentage of senior residents, most of whom lead active lives in retirement. However, it’s inevitable that age brings infirmity, and aging adults often need assistance with life’s necessities, especially managing finances.

Florida law allows the court to appoint a guardian when an older adult agrees that it is necessary or has shown a lack of capacity that requires intervention. A voluntary guardianship works much the same way as a power of attorney. The senior, who will be known as the ward, transfers legal authority to someone who can then manage finances and make decisions that affect the ward’s health and welfare. However, the court can also appoint a guardian over the would-be ward’s objection in what is known as an involuntary guardianship.

What You Should Know about Involuntary Guardianships for Florida Adults

The first and most important point is that the court can only appoint a guardian over an adult ward’s objection after an adjudication of incapacity, so it must be established through a hearing that the ward has lost the capacity to manage without assistance. Because this is a legal proceeding, the ward has the right to counsel and due process. The ward can have a lawyer, call witnesses and introduce evidence to rebut allegations of incapacity.

Furthermore, the law requires that the court choose the least restrictive option possible in an involuntary guardianship. For example, if the ward has become forgetful to the point of not paying bills on time, the court can appoint a guardian to manage certain areas of finance but would not give the guardian decision-making authority regarding investments, real estate and personal property, nor would the guardian be able to make medical decisions for the ward.

In our practice, we represent guardians and wards in adjudications for involuntary guardianships. We offer sound counsel based on your specific circumstances designed to lead to the best, most practical results.

Sessums Law Group, P.A. represents guardians and wards in guardianship procedures in and around the Tampa Bay area. Please call (813) 212-8330 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We have locations in Tampa, Lakeland, Sebring and Sarasota.

Our Settlements & Verdicts

Sessums Law Group, P.A. Attorneys Take Pride in Delivering Exceptional Results for Our Valued Clients

Our top priority is to devise customized legal strategies that are tailored to the unique legal needs of our clients, no matter how simple or complicated their situations, might be.

  • $6,000,000.00 Recovery Fraud Civil Action

    Sessums Law Group, P.A. successfully recovered $6,000,000.00 for a client in a fraud civil action.  Prior to the client’s divorce, the client negotiated and executed an agreement with his wife’s boyfriend that sought that the boyfriend would have no contact with the client’s wife.

  • $2,740,000.00 Wrongful Death Hit/Run of Motorcyclist

    Representation of the plaintiff hit from behind on his motorcycle by a driver who was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident.  Sued the defendant; the bar that the defendant had been drinking and the defendant’s employer.

  • $1,929,000.00 Verdict Real Estate Deficiency

    Representation of estate in real estate deficiency claim resulting in joint and several liability verdict against various doctors and chiropractors.

  • $1,000,000.00 Settlement Collision

    Representation of estate in an automobile and tractor trailer collision that resulted in multiple deaths.

  • Confidential Settlement Amount Medical Malpractice

    Client was burned with a hot pack after delivering her son via Cesarean section.

  • Confidential Settlement Amount Nursing Home Negligence

    Representation of the Personal Representative of the Estate of the patient who died due to negligent care while in the care of the nursing home.

  • Confidential Settlement Amount Trolley Accident

    Representation of passengers who were enjoying a sight- seeing tour aboard a trolley when the trolley was hit by a bus. The passengers suffered soft tissue injuries.

  • Confidential Settlement Amount Hit & Run

    Sessums Law Group was recently successful in settling a case for a hard working Polk County man whose hit and run accident resulted in a need for a knee replacement.  The defendant argued that our client had caused the accident.  We were able to prove through expert accident reconstruction testimony that the accident happened as our client testified despite the minimal damage involved.

  • Confidential Settlement Stolen Property

    Client’s vehicle was burglarized and her engagement and wedding rings stolen. The perpetrator pawned the stolen items to a local pawn shop. The pawn shop ignored the hold order from the police department and sold the engagement and wedding rings. After suit filed for the Plaintiff, a confidential settlement was reached with the pawn shop for the value to our client of her stolen rings.

Florida Attorneys with Proven Expertise, Devoted to Exceptional Service

"Our firm believes in the integrity of the needs of the each client we represent. We are passionate about obtaining the maximum results allowable under the law for each client."

- Mark A. Sessums