• Lauren A. Merritt, P.A.

What is a Guardian Advocate?

When a child with a developmental disability turns 18, the parents no longer have legal authority to make decisions for the adult child.

A Guardian Advocate is a person, usually a family member or caregiver, appointed by the court that has the legal authority to act on behalf of someone with a developmental disability after he or she turns 18. A Guardian Advocate can be appointed if the person with the developmental disability lacks the decision-making ability to do some, but not all, of the decision-making tasks necessary to care for his or her person or property. A court can appoint someone to be a Guardian Advocate of the person, a Guardian Advocate of the property, or a Guardian Advocate of both the person and the property. A Guardian Advocate of the person and the property has the authority to make legal, medical, educational, and financial decisions on behalf of the disabled person. A Guardian Advocate is obligated by ethical and statutory rules to make decisions in the disabled person's best interest. During a Guardian Advocacy proceeding the court will appoint an attorney for the person with a developmental disability to ensure their best interest is protected. To learn more about Guardian Advocacy, CLICK to download our free GUARDIAN ADVOCACY REPORT: How to Support Your Special Needs Child Without Losing the Right to Make Medical, Educational, Financial, or Legal Decisions. Have questions about a becoming a Guardian Advocate? Call today for a consultation: (850) 427-2228. Lauren A. Lewis, P.A. 111 S. De Villiers Street, Ste. B Pensacola, FL 32502

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