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Emergency Guardianship: 5 Tips You Should Know

As a responsible Central Florida resident, it makes sense that you want what’s best for your loved ones. However, there are times when circumstances and decisions may not be in the best interests of those you care about. It’s important to realize that you don’t have to sit idly by and let an awkward or unsafe scenario play out.

On the other hand, there will be times when you’ll need to intervene or accept responsibilities in a situation you may not have previously planned for or considered. Read on to glean valuable information about what you can and should do in the case of emergency guardianship.

1) Understand the Process

Sometimes referred to as “temporary guardianship,” this legal arrangement enables you to take control over an individual’s personal, financial, and medical issues for a limited period of time. Your duties are specifically determined by the court’s Letters of Temporary Emergency Guardianship and focus on what exactly the Ward needs during that temporary period.

Emergency guardianship protects your loved ones in various ways. For example, when a person becomes incapacitated (even for a short period of time), he or she is understandably in no position to make important life decisions on his or her own. In addition, various emergencies can arise when there’s little or no time to make other arrangements.

2) Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

If you choose to serve as a Temporary Emergency Guardian, you should be able and willing to take on the responsibilities dictated in the Order of Emergency Temporary Guardianship.

In most cases, this temporary emergency guardianship lasts up to 60 days. There are times when that could be extended, based on unique factors. If the emergency scenario continues without resolution in reasonable sight, permanent guardianship may have to be explored.

Being appointed as a Temporary Emergency Guardian can seem daunting and overwhelming. It’s wise to partner with a dynamic estate planning attorney in Ormond Beach to help you navigate the process.

3) Learn How to Protect Minor Children

When minor children are involved, it’s important to understand the distinction between temporary and permanent guardianship. Permanent guardianship is when you assume the responsibilities of a parent upon their death, long-term incarceration, or incapacitation. Meanwhile, emergency guardianship is temporary. You could even be personally asked by the minor child’s parents to take on this role. This arrangement is designed to ensure the uninterrupted peace and protection of minor children during developing situations. 

If you’re a parent who wants to explore the safeguard of emergency guardianship, the first step is to contact a trusted and reputable child custody attorney in Volusia County who is well-versed with family law and guardianship issues.

4) Learn How to Protect Elderly Relatives

Similar to the above process, gaining emergency guardianship of an aging loved one can be a life-saving endeavor. Guardians of elderly individuals are involved in major care decisions, including:

  • living arrangements
  • medical care
  • financial considerations (including bill payment)
  • record-keeping
  • end-of-life decisions

In addition, if a guardian is already in place for your loved one, you have the right to object to the named guardian for your elderly loved one. Doing so does not guarantee this decision will be reversed. However, there will be times that you can demonstrate threats to the long-term well-being of this individual. This process can be started both before and after a guardian is appointed. It’s best to contact an estate planning lawyer in Daytona Beach who can help you plan through this sometimes-complex process.

5) Get Expert Advice and Assistance

Having to deal with possible guardianship issues can be stressful and seem overpowering. The good news is that when you partner with skilled and qualified legal professionals, you benefit from expert advice that will help you make sense of even the most complicated situation.

Our law firm offers a decade of experience in the concentrations of estate planning (including guardianship and probate), family law, and divorce. We’re proud to have built a solid reputation as an outstanding  child support attorney in Daytona Beach. Contact us today to learn more about emergency guardianship and all your legal questions.

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Content Sources

  1. National Association for Court Management. “Adult Guardianship Guide”. 2013-2014. accessed 5 Feb 2019
  2. Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida. “Temporary Custody by Extended Family Member”. Florida Law Help. undated. accessed 5 Feb 2019
  3. Hirby, J. “How to Get Emergency Custody of Children”. The Law Dictionary. undated. accessed 5 Feb 2019