In Fort Myers, Cape Coral or Naples, what is an emergency temporary guardianship?

If you have decided that it is necessary to petition the circuit court to have someone, usually a close family member, declared incapacitated so that you can establish a guardianship, a common question is how long will this take?

The length to time depends on the judge that the case is assigned to.  For example, in Lee County, there are five different civil judges.   The time it takes: (1) to appoint an attorney for the alleged incapacitated person, (2) to appoint three examining committee members to examine the alleged incapacitated person, (3) for the examining committee to examine the alleged incapacitated person and file a report with the court, and (4) schedule the hearing at a future date after the examining committee reports are filed varies from four to eight weeks depending on the specific judge's work load.  

However, what happens if you need something done right now?

Florida Statute §744.3031 describes the situations that a judge may appoint an emergency temporary guardian for an alleged incapacitated person.  The court will hear a petition to appoint an emergency temporary guardian anywhere from two days to several weeks.  The advantages of an emergency temporary guardianship are: (1) if a greedy family member is exploiting the alleged incapacitated person, greedy person does not have to be notified of the emergency hearing, (2) you do not have to wait for the examining committee to evaluate the alleged incapacitated person, and (3) the emergency guardian can be appointed much quicker.

However, you must file a petition to determine incapacity and a petition to appoint plenary or limited guardian before you can file a petition to appoint an emergency temporary guardian.  The emergency temporary guardian can be for the person or property of the alleged incapacitated person.  However, under §744.3031(1): “The court must specifically find that there appears to be imminent danger that the physical or mental health or safety of the person will be seriously impaired or that the person's property is in danger of being wasted, misappropriated, or lost unless immediate action is taken.”  Thus, your attorney needs to collect admissible evidence that can be presented at a hearing to appoint an emergency temporary guardian.  The hearing on an emergency temporary guardian can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.  However, sometimes it is absolutely necessary to have an emergency temporary guardian appointed.  For more information contact Linde Law Group today!