Assuming guardianship over another person and their affairs is a big undertaking. Before acting to become someone’s guardian, it’s wise to educate yourself about the responsibilities and legal obligations of guardianship in your state.
If you are a Floridian seeking guardianship of a minor child or incapacitated adult, there are things you may not know about guardianship in Florida. Engaging a Florida guardianship attorney will help you learn more about the guardianship role and applicable guardianship laws.
3 Things You May Not Know About Guardianship in Florida
Establishing guardianship in Florida is a lengthy and complicated process that involves substantial interaction with the courts. Because guardianship grants someone the legal right to make decisions for another person, generally a minor or incapacitated adult, the court carefully scrutinizes and provides ongoing oversight of each case.
While every case is unique, Florida guardian lawyers narrow down some basics to understanding guardianship in Florida:
1. There are Different Types of Guardianship in Florida
Guardianship of a person grants a guardian the legal authority to make decisions regarding rights that have been removed from a person by the court. Removed rights may include consent to medical treatment, choice of residence, and financial decisions.
Guardianship of property allows an appointed guardian to exercise specific rights removed from a person by the court. A guardian of property may only execute decisions of the court and does not have decision-making authority. Authority rests with the court to determine what transactions are necessary and appropriate for the ward, i.e., the sale of property or disbursement of investments.
Guardianship of a person and property authorizes a guardian to make personal and property decisions for a person based on the person’s incapacity to do so for themselves.
These decisions may pertain to personal care and financial obligations.
Guardianship of a minor is required by Florida law when a child under the age of 18 years comes into assets of $15,000 or more through gift, inheritance, or injury settlement. A court
A guardian is appointed to manage the assets on the minor’s behalf until he or she reaches adulthood.
2. Florida Guardians Must be Represented by A Florida Lawyer
The rules and regulations surrounding guardianship are cumbersome and overwhelming. Not only is it helpful to receive advice from lawyers specializing in guardianship law, but Florida law requires it. Florida Probate Law requires that all guardians be represented by an attorney admitted to practice in Florida.
3. Guardianship Training and Reporting is Required in Florida
All appointed and acting guardians are required to complete initial and ongoing education. The initial training consists of 40 hours of instruction, with 16 hours of continuing education required every two years. The education must be fulfilled through courses offered or approved by the Office of Public and Professional Guardians.
Additionally, guardians are required to file a guardianship plan and inventory report within 60 days of appointment. Subsequent, detailed reports must be submitted annually for court review.
Contact a Florida Guardianship Attorney Today
Establishing and maintaining guardianship for a loved one in Florida takes time and energy. It can be especially draining in an already stressful time as you balance emotions, family dynamics, and guardianship duties.
Retaining the services of a qualified Florida guardianship attorney will ease your burden as you endeavor to meet Florida’s guardianship requirements, and it’s required under Florida law. Contact an experienced Florida guardianship lawyer today for help with your guardianship case.