Orlando Conservatorship Attorney
What Is Conservatorship under Florida Law?
Florida state law includes provisions that make it possible for family
members of a person who has become incapacitated through injury, illness
or mental illness to petition the court for
guardianship. When such a petition is granted, the guardian is then vested with certain
legal powers in respect to the ward - the term used to refer to the incapacitated
person - as well as being assigned specific responsibilities and duties.
The same principles are at work in cases of conservatorship as outlined
by Chapter 747 of the 2012 Florida Statutes. In fact, Florida Statutes
§747.035, "Rights, powers, and duties of conservator,"
a conservator has, "all the rights, powers, and duties of a guardian." In a conservatorship, the ward is referred to as an absentee, and the
same statute states that an absentee is "entitled to all benefits
accruing to a ward or a ward's dependents."
What is the difference between a conservatorship and a guardianship?
Whereas guardians are appointed to oversee the affairs of individuals who
have become incapacitated due to injury or illness, conservatorships are
established under an entirely different set of circumstances. Under Florida
Statutes §747.01, an absentee is anyone who has disappeared under circumstances that make
it appear that he or she has died, as well as if the person has gone missing
as a result of mental derangement, amnesia or other mental causes. The
definition of an absentee also includes members of the armed forces who
have been reported missing in action, who have become prisoners of war,
or who are otherwise detained in a foreign country.
Who can petition for conservatorship?
In order to become a conservator, you must be able:
- To furnish evidence that you would hold an interest in the estate of the
absentee in the event that the person were deceased
- Prove that you are dependent upon the missing person for maintenance or support
You will have to prepare a petition that names the spouse, children, parents,
siblings and any other next of kin of the absentee, as well as describing
the exact circumstances under which the person has gone missing and details
concerning the reason or reasons why it is necessary that you should be
The petition must additionally include a statement summarizing the property
that constitutes the estate of the absentee, along with an estimate of
how much the estate is worth. During the hearing, the court may appoint
ad litem to represent the interests of the missing person.
Let Our Orlando Estate Planning Lawyer Help
In the event that you are appointed as conservator, you will have to follow
certain rules concerning the management of the estate and reporting to
the court. Throughout the entire process, from preparing the petition
to carrying out your duties as conservator and even addressing allegations
of breach of fiduciary duty, an
Orlando estate planning attorney from
Jackson Law can guide you and advise you of your legal options.
To learn more and take the first steps in the case,
contact our office now.