By Lisa Thompson Barnes Master Of Laws Real Property Development;
Also Admitted In The Commonwealth Of The Bahamas
Do you have a family member who was born with developmental disabilities? If the family member has reached majority age (18 years old), the parent or caregiver may have already found interacting with hospitals, schools, medical professionals, governmental agencies, etc to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. This is because with state and federal privacy laws in place, once someone attains the legal age of 18 years of age, parents or caregivers are no longer legally entitled to his or her medical, financial, or contractual information. If you have a family member who has developmental disabilities, there is a legal process for a guardian advocate to be appointed by the Court under Florida law.
Unlike a conventional guardianship action under Florida Statutes, Chapter 744, the guardian advocacy action is less involved and does not include an adjudication of incapacity. However, the duties and responsibilities are identical for guardian advocates to those of a guardian appointed under Chapter 744. If you have questions and would like to learn more of the process associated with a guardian advocate or a guardian, please feel free to contact our law firm.