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Understanding conservatorships and guardianships in Florida

If you are starting to think about your future health care and you want to plan for an eventuality in which you become incapacitated, you’ll likely be interested in the possibilities that are presented in the form of conservatorships and guardianships.

However, many people do not know the differences between conservatorships and guardianships and their different uses. The following is a brief overview of the benefits and uses of both conservatorships and guardianships.

What are the main differences between conservatorships and guardianships?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are, in fact, quite different. When a person becomes incapacitated due to mental illness, injury or disability, a guardian will have the power to make decisions on their behalf and look after their finances and other affairs.

Conservatorships in Florida apply only to people who have gone missing. This means that a close family member of a missing person can gain a conservatorship over their estate. To do this they must be able to show that they hold an interest in the missing person’s estate or that they are financially dependent on them.

How are guardianships appointed?

There are many ways to have a guardianship appointed. Those planning their estate may choose to give someone a durable power of attorney for health care decisions. This will essentially mean that the power of attorney will then be able to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated.

If you are starting to plan your estate and you are interested in planning for a possible future illness, an experienced attorney can provide more information.

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