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  • Stuart Office


    2400 S.E. Federal Highway
    Fourth Floor
    Stuart, Florida 34994



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    The best attorney ever miss jessica , and best side kick my buddy you both for all you do...

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    Nikki Melby went above and beyond to work with us during a very difficult time. I highly recommend her!

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    Nikki Melby is top notch. None better for the mature client. Very pleased. Impeccable grasp of senior needs and more.

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    I initially contacted Ms. VanValkenburgh with thoughts that my divorce would not fully go through and to redo legal paperwork I did through an online company. Unfortunately, the marriage was indeed headed to a full messy divorce. To say I w...
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Estate Planning Attorneys Handling Guardianship Matters Along the Treasure Coast

Helping you protect your loved ones in Stuart, Florida

A guardianship is a legal arrangement where a minor or an incapacitated adult, known as the ward, is placed under the supervision of another person, the guardian. The goal of this type of arrangement is to ensure that the ward is taken care of, in terms of their healthcare decisions and estate. At McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A., we have extensive experience with guardianship law in Florida. Attorney  Nicola J. Melby, Board Certified in Elder Law by the Florida Bar and the National Elder Law Foundation, leads our Guardianship practice, which also features Ross C. Alagna. 

Who can act as a guardian in Florida?

A court names a guardian upon determining that a person cannot make certain decisions for him or herself. A guardian can be one of the following:

  • Any adult resident of Florida
  • A close relative of the ward who does not live in Florida
  • Certain institutions

Anyone who has been convicted of a felony or is seriously ill cannot act as a guardian. If the entire family can agree on who should act as a guardian, the court will generally accept that choice. The guardian is legally accountable for the ward, and thus should take this responsibility seriously. If a guardian fails to meet their responsibilities, the court may remove them from the role. Our attorneys can help you understand your obligations as a guardian.

What are the different types of guardianships?

There are two main types of guardianships in Florida:

  • Guardianship of the person. This guardian is authorized to make decisions for the ward involving healthcare and place of residence. They are in charge of ensuring that the guardian’s personal care and medical well-being is appropriate and within the ward’s best interests.
  • Guardianship of the estate. This guardian is responsible for the financial affairs of the ward. They can make decisions about the ward’s property and estate in accordance to the ward’s best interests.

Depending on the situation, the court may appoint the same person in both of these positions.

Understanding guardianship of a minor child

For parents, an essential part of an estate plan is choosing a guardian for your children in the event of your incapacitation or death. You can name a guardian for your minor children in your will. It is important to choose a person whom you trust to act responsibly and with genuine concern for your child’s welfare. You have the option of choosing one person to be in charge of the child’s care and another to be in charge of the child’s finances. Our attorneys can help you choose the best person to care for your children and draft a will that reflects your wishes. We also help guardians understand and carry out their responsibilities.

Consult with experienced guardianship lawyers in Stuart, Florida

To learn more about what it means to be the guardian of either an incapacitated adult or a minor child in Florida, call McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A. at 772-286-1700 or contact us online today. From our Stuart, Florida office, we represent clients throughout the Treasure Coast.