Understanding the Important Role of Voluntary Guardianship

Many people know about guardianships and the important role they can play in making sure our loved ones are taken care of during times of need. These serve to ensure important assets and needs are accounted for while someone is incapacitated or otherwise unable to take care of themselves. What many people don’t know, however, is that Florida has another option that doesn’t require incapacitation to initiate: voluntary guardianship.

Voluntary guardianships are a great tool available to Floridians who need assistance managing assets. Anyone 18 or older can voluntarily appoint a guardian for themselves – and we want to explore why this may be a great option for you.

Greater control

When a guardianship is assigned, the person who is being overseen by the guardianship (often referred to as a ward) has limited control over the situation. These people are generally at a point in their lives where they won’t be able to make their own decisions, so it’s logical that these are more binding than what we’re discussing today.

Under voluntary guardianship, the ward has more control over who the guardian is, what authority they have, which assets they’ll manage, and when the guardianship will end. A voluntary guardianship must be renewed every year but can continue for however long the ward desires.

Court oversight

Wards in voluntary guardianship still receive the benefit of oversight by the courts. The courts will still supervise these cases, assigning the same fiduciary duties to a voluntary guardian that a regular guardian receives.

This protects the person in need and allows for personal autonomy unavailable through full guardianship.

Voluntary guardianships buy you time

We’re all at different stages in life, and, with this, comes different needs. Voluntary guardianship is a perfect tool to fill a gap in your life where you need extra time to recover, educate yourself, or focus on other aspects of your life.

For example, if you were involved in an accident and are now near full recovery you may still want to buy time to adapt to your new normal. You may want to focus on getting to 100% while someone else manages certain assets and decisions in your life. Essentially, you need to bridge the gap between going to therapy and getting back to baseline.

The same applies to young adults who inherit or acquire assets they don’t have a full understanding of. They may assign their parents or another adult as a voluntary guardian while they finish school or acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to take care of the assets themselves.

Voluntary guardianships aren’t about giving up control of your life but about gaining control and stability. Our team at Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio can help you set up and manage a voluntary guardianship when you’re in need. Contact us and we’ll help you navigate these uncharted waters.

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Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio

Our firm deals with legal matters involving your loved ones, and our familial operation is prepared to give you caring and effective counsel during what might be a difficult or emotional time.

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