Estate, Trust & Wealth Preservation

Adoption and Guardianship

Our guardianship practice encompasses both uncontested and contested matters.

The uncontested practice focuses on establishing guardianships for individuals who lack capacity to make financial and health care decisions for themselves. An individual's lack of capacity may be the product of a lifelong condition or a loss of capacity as a consequence of an accident or the natural aging process. In each instance, we work with the individual's spouse, children, or other persons closest to the individual to obtain the appointment of a guardian through the court system. The role of the guardian includes managing the individual's assets for his or her benefit during the individual's lifetime, and may also include implementing an appropriate estate plan to address the distribution of assets at death. In each instance, we work with the guardian to prepare and obtain court approval for periodic accountings and estate planning documents.

The contested practice focuses on protecting a disabled individual who may have become the victim of financial exploitation or physical neglect from family members, caregivers, or others. In these situations, we work through the court system to obtain the appointment of an appropriate guardian who will safeguard the disabled individual's assets and well-being. Contested matters may involve removing a current guardian, trustee, or agent under a power of attorney who has acted improperly, and pursuing the assets of the disabled individual that have been diverted by one or more bad actors. When the situation involving financial exploitation or neglect has been resolved, we continue to work with the guardian as needed to comply with the guardian's court-imposed duties.

Quarles & Brady has been involved in adoptions in Florida for more than 20 years. The practice includes comprehensive and legal services to adoptive parents in domestic, interstate, and step-parent adoptions. We represent Florida adopting families through the entire process, including pairing birth mothers with clients, terminating the parental rights of the birth parents, and finalizing the adoption. The experience of our adoption attorneys includes identifying adoption methods and resources, explaining the specific laws that apply to individual states, assessing the risks throughout the process, and ensuring the client's and child's needs and best interests are met. We understand that, for our clients, the decision to adopt a child is about growing as a family, and we strive to make the experience as positive as possible.