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How is Incapacity Determined?

A person can become incapacitated from many different things including illness, injury, medical conditions, and issues that they have had since birth. When someone is legally incapacitated, they are unable to care for themselves, and will typically need to have a legal guardian appointed.

The level of incapacity can vary dramatically from person to person, and the responsibilities that a legal guardian will have can vary based on the abilities of their ward. Learning what incapacity is, and how it is determined in the state of Florida, is something that is of significant importance to many people. This includes those who are aging and may eventually be declared incapacitated, and those who may be named guardians of someone who is unable to care for themselves.

What is Incapacity?

To be determined legally incapacitated, one must be unable to care for themselves. A general guideline when determining if someone is incapacitated or not is by checking to see if they can relate properly to the world around them. For example, find out if they can recognize people they should know, if they understand the role a person would have in their life (nurse, doctor, spouse, etc.), and more. In addition, checking to see if they know the general date, including what month or year it is, and an approximate idea of what time it might be.

Legal Incapacitation

If a doctor or a loved one believes that someone is incapacitated, a legal process will begin to determine if that is the case or not. Depending on the severity of the situation, the courts can act quite quickly, or require a significant amount of evidence in order to rule one way or another. In most cases, the courts will take testimony from doctors or nurses who are providing care, as well as loved ones.

If the individual is determined to be legally incapacitated, the courts will appoint one or more people to the role of guardian. They can place one person in charge of the individual’s physical well-being and another over their finances, or just one person to be the guardian of it all.

Petitioning for Guardianship

If you have a loved one whom you believe to be incapacitated, you may need to petition the courts to become a legal guardian. Whether you are the only option, or you have other family members contesting your claim, you will want to have an attorney there to help you throughout the process. Contact Vasquez de Lara Law Group to go over your options, and get this important legal process started right away.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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