What is Guardian Advocacy in Florida?

What is Guardian Advocacy? Is it the same as guardianship? What about appointing a guardian for minor children?

These are all different legal processes in the state of Florida! This blog focuses on guardian advocacy. My future blogs will focus on guardianship and how estate planning can be used to appoint a guardian for minor children. In the state of Florida, a guardian advocate is a court appointed person who is empowered to act on behalf of a person with a developmental disability. But what is a developmental disability?

Florida Statute Section 393.063 states a, “ ‘Developmental disability’ means a disorder or syndrome that is attributable to intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, or Prader-Willi syndrome; that manifests before the age of 18; and that constitutes a substantial handicap that can reasonably be expected to continue indefinitely.”

A guardian advocate can be anyone, but is usually an immediate family member like a parent or sibling. The guardian advocate process in Florida is meant to protect people with developmental disabilities. As part of the process, each guardian advocate must undergo training and must report to the court each year.

Elizabeth Cuenca, Esq. is an experienced guardian advocacy attorney. Elizabeth believes strongly in advocacy for both people with developmental disabilities and guardian advocates who seek to protect their loved ones. If you would like more information on guardian advocacy, Elizabeth Cuenca, Esq. can be reached via email at elizabeth@cuencalaw.com or phone (813) 693-2094.