Guardianship Litigation

South Florida guardianship attorney Randy A. Bryant understands that the guardianship process can be a deeply emotional and often contentious one. Although the courts may do their best to ensure the interests of all those involved, disputes do arise that can be both emotionally and monetarily taxing. With over a decade of experience helping clients through the guardianship process, Mr. Bryant will work hard to protect your interests in the courtroom during guardianship litigation.

Contesting Florida Guardianship

Although the Florida guardianship administration process is focused on protecting the interests of any individual alleged to be incapacitated, the determination of guardianship is often inherently an adversarial one. When an individual may be denied his or her rights, and where another may be charged with representing those rights, conflicts and concerns may inevitably arise. Two common sources of guardianship litigation are (1) disputes over appointment of a guardian and (2) allegations of mismanagement by an appointed guardian.

Guardianship Appointment Disputes

Given the significance of an incapacitation determination, it is unsurprising that guardianship is often contested at this stage. During an incapacitation hearing, any allegedly incapacitated person is entitled to have an attorney appointed by the court to represent him or her, or may hire an attorney of their own. Their attorney may contest incapacity by seeking to show that the individual is capable of handling his or her own affairs, or may argue that the petitioner seeking to impose a guardianship is acting under ulterior motives, such as financial gain, and not in the best interests of the allegedly incapacitated individual.

Additionally, Florida law requires that the courts use the “least restrictive means” possible in protecting a person who may be incapable of taking care of themselves. Guardianships are considered to be highly restrictive and guardianship litigation may also be used to argue for a less restrictive option. For instance, where an individual has provided for certain assets or property to be managed through their estate plan, such instructions may be used to avoid appointment of a guardian.

Breach of Duty

Even if a need for guardianship is not disputed, or appointment of a guardian has already been appointed, guardianship litigation may still arise. Appointed guardians are responsible to the court and are required to provide annual reports accounting for all of their actions. Where a guardian fails to carry out his or her duties and responsibilities, litigation may ensue in order to remove and/or sanction the guardian. Under such circumstances, a guardian is often alleged to have breached his or her fiduciary duty. Breach of fiduciary duty litigation can be very difficult and time consuming, so it is important to retain a qualified Florida guardianship attorney if you believe the rights and interests of an incapacitated family member are being mismanaged.

Representing Your Interests During Guardianship Litigation

Miami guardianship lawyer Randy A. Bryant is dedicated to representing your interests in the guardianship process. Whether you are defending a petition to determine incapacity or are the victim of an improper guardianship action, the Bryant Law Firm understands that guardianship can be contentious, and can provide you with the experienced advocacy that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your guardianship matters, call us at (305) 456-2777, or contact us online.

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