Experienced Counsel On Development Disability
Not all developmentally disabled individuals function at the same level. There is a wide spectrum within this classification and some of these individuals are able to operate in society with much greater independency than others who have been given the same label by society.
If you have a loved one who is able to participate in decisions that affect their life, there is a special form of guardianship under Florida law that allows a developmentally disabled person to take an active role in the decisions a guardian is usually in control of with the help of a guardian advocate. At the Law Office of Warren B. Bram, P.A., we believe in this process and are committed to helping preserve the dignity and independence of these individuals.
To learn more about our legal representation helping guardian advocates for the developmentally disabled, please contact our West Palm Beach office today. We offer free half-hour consultations for most matters.
What Exactly Is A Guardian Advocate For The Developmentally Disabled?
A guardian advocate is a special form of guardianship that is only available to mentally incapacitated persons deemed developmentally disabled. The legal authority to create this special type of relationship and representation is found in the Developmental Disabilities Act, Chapter 393.12 of the Florida Statutes.
This option is generally less expensive, less intrusive and easier to implement. It is similar to limited guardianship in its effect, and in the fact that often times, it is not necessary to remove a person’s rights, even though they are incapable of exercising them without assistance.
Unlike traditional guardianship where some if not all rights, responsibilities and ability to make legal decisions are given over to the guardian completely, a guardian advocate for a developmentally disabled person is encouraged to help their client be an active participant where they are competent to help. The goal is to help preserve as much self-esteem and dignity as possible by allowing them to participate in property, financial, physical and legal decisions and exercising their rights when able without an incapacity proceeding.
Keeping Your Goals in Mind
Though much preferred by families, not all lawyer (or judges) are familiar with this type of guardianship. Attorney Warren B. Brams is not only familiar with the guardian advocate for developmentally disabled role, but he encourages it as well and can help you oversee its successful implementation.
He also helps guardian advocates comply with all the rigorous reporting requirements with the court. He can also help coordinate benefit planning with the appropriate SSDI and Medicaid specialists and he can provide counsel for special needs planning concerning the individual.
This relationship between a guardian advocate and a developmentally disabled person is meant to provide the ability for self-determination with a legal safety net still firmly in place to protect this person. As a family member to these types of loved ones, you do not have to feel overwhelmed, stressed or alone when it comes to figuring out the right balance between recognizing a loved one’s cognitive limits and respecting their awareness. We are here to help.