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Tampa Business Litigation Attorneys / Tampa Guardianship Litigation

Tampa Guardianship Litigation

In Florida, the courts may appoint a guardian to a person who has been deemed incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. Any guardian of a ward has many responsibilities towards them and must act in their best interests at all times. While in many cases, this does occur, that is not always the case. A guardian may take advantage of a ward or fail to act in good faith. Disputes can also arise between family members when deciding who will act as guardian for a person.

When these disputes arise, litigation is often necessary, which requires the filing of a lawsuit. These legal matters can become very complicated extremely quickly. Our Tampa guardianship litigation lawyer can help you navigate the process so you and your family have the best chance of a successful outcome.

Disputes Involving the Appointment of a Guardian

Many disputes arise before a guardian is even appointed. For example, someone who is incapacitated may have three adult children, and they all may want to be appointed as guardian. Florida law does allow a ward to have multiple guardians, but this is not always practical. Staying with the same example, if the siblings have different opinions regarding what is in the best interests of their parent, they may not be able to work together as guardians. When multiple parties petition the court to be appointed guardian, a judge will make the final decision.

Disputes Regarding Incapacity of the Ward

A guardianship dispute can also arise when the ward objects to having a guardian appointed to them. The potential ward, known as the alleged incapacitated person (AIP), has the right to an attorney during incapacity hearings. The AIP will then meet with a panel of experts, as well as their attorney. The panel of experts will each make a determination of incapacity and submit a report to the court. If the experts unanimously decide that the AIP is incapacitated, guardianship proceedings will continue. If the experts do not unanimously agree, a judge will review all evidence presented and make a decision based on the best interests of the ward.

Breach of Fiduciary Duties

Guardians have fiduciary duties to their wards. This is due to the fact that guardians often handle the finances and legal matters of the ward. When guardians breach this fiduciary duty by mismanaging the ward’s assets, exploiting the ward or taking advantage of them, or otherwise acting in bad faith, it can lead to litigation. In these situations, guardians may face removal as well as criminal and civil penalties.

Our Guardianship Litigation Attorney in Tampa Can Help with Your Dispute

At BBDG Law, our Tampa guardianship litigation attorney has extensive experience with guardianship disputes. Whether you are a guardian, ward, or loved one, we can help you resolve your dispute either through a negotiated settlement or in the courtroom. Call us today at (813) 221-3759 or fill out our online form to request a consultation with our experienced attorney and to get the sound legal advice you need.