Guardianship

Information about Guardianship, Guardian Advocates, Incapacity

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Guardian Advocate

A Probate Court may appoint a guardian advocate, without an adjudication of incapacity, for a person with developmental disabilities, if the person lacks the capacity to do some, but not all, of the tasks necessary to care for his or her person, property, or estate or if the person has voluntarily petitioned for the appointment of a guardian advocate. Except as otherwise specified, the proceeding shall be governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

Incapacity

An incapacitated person is a person who has been judicially determined to lack the capacity necessary to manage at least some of his or her property or who cannot provide for his or her own health and safety.

Orders to Be Posted

Osceola County yearly monitors approximately 500-600 guardianships. While the majority of these cases involve the elderly, many also involve the safeguarding of proceeds for minor

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a person who has been appointed by the court to act on behalf of a ward’s person, property or both.

What is a Pre-Need Guardianship?

A competent adult may name a Pre-Need Guardian by making a written declaration that names such guardian to serve in the event of the declarant’s incapacity. The declaration must be signed by the declarant and two (2) witnesses.

Who may act as a guardian?

A person 18 years of age or older who has an interest in the protection of the personal or property rights of the incapacitated person may qualify to serve as a guardian. An application for “Appointment of Guardian” must accompany the petition. The court will review the application to ensure the guardian to be appointed will best serve the needs of the ward.

What is a limited guardian?

A limited Guardian is a person who has been appointed by the court to exercise the legal rights and powers specifically designated in the court’s order. The Court will enter such an order after the court has found that the ward lacks the capacity to do some, but not all, of the tasks necessary to care for his or her own person or property. The court may also enter such an order after a person has voluntarily petitioned for the appointment of a limited guardian.

What is a plenary guardian?

A plenary guardian is a person who has been appointed by the court to exercise all delegable legal rights and powers of the ward after the court has found that the ward lacks the capacity to perform all of the tasks necessary to care for his or her own person and/or property.

What is a voluntary guardian?

Without adjudication of incapacity, the court shall appoint a guardian of the property of a resident or nonresident person who, though mentally competent, is incapable of the care, custody and management of his or her estate by reason of age or physical infirmity and who has voluntarily petitioned for the appointment. The petition shall be accompanied by a certificate of a licensed physician specifying that he or she has examined the petitioner and that the petitioner is competent to understand the nature of the guardianship and his or her delegation of authority.

Unless the voluntary guardianship is limited, any guardian appointed under this section has the same duties and responsibilities as are provided by law for plenary guardians of the property, generally.

A voluntary guardianship may be terminated by the ward by filing a notice with the court that the voluntary guardianship is terminated. A copy of the Notice must be served on all interested persons.

What is a public guardian?

The legislature finds that private guardianship is inadequate where there is no willing and responsible family member or friend, other person, bank, or corporation available to serve as guardian for an incapacitated person, and such person does not have adequate income or wealth for the compensation of a private guardian. The legislature intends through this act to establish the Statewide Public Guardianship Office, and permit the establishment of offices of public guardian for the purpose of providing guardianship services for incapacitated persons when no private guardian is available. The legislature further finds that alternatives to guardianship and less intrusive means of assistance should always be explored, including, but not limited to, guardian advocates, before an individual’s rights are removed through an adjudication of incapacity. The purpose of this legislation is to provide guardian only to those persons whose needs cannot be met through less drastic means of intervention.

What types of reports are required of a guardian?

The guardian of the person is required to file an Initial Guardianship Plan and an Annual Guardianship Plan. The guardian of the property is required to file an inventory and an annual financial return. Reports should be filed with the Clerk’s Probate Division.

When are the reports due?

The initial reports must be filed within 60 days after letters of guardianship are issued. The annual reports must be filed 90 days after the last day of the anniversary month in which the letters of guardianship were issued.

Who will review these reports?

The law places upon the Clerk of the Circuit Court the responsibility of auditing these reports. The Court will then review the Clerk’s audit.

Are there audit fees involved in filing the reports?

There are no audit fees for an initial or annual guardianship plan. The audit fee for the initial inventory is $85, if the assets of the ward exceed $25,000. The audit fee for the annual financial return ranges from $20 to $250, depending on the value of the estate.

What are the educational requirements?

Basic Guardianship training can be acquired through the Council on Aging, Office of the Public Guardian (407) 846-8532 or UCF Downtown Academic Center (407) 207-4920. 

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Related Forms & Documents

APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT AS GUARDIAN ADVOCATE

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APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT AS STANDBY GUARDIAN ADVOCATE

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STANDBY GUARDIAN'S JOINDER IN PETITION

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PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN ADVOCATE

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OATH OF GUARDIAN ADVOCATE, DESIGNATION OF

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ORDER APPOINTING GUARDIAN ADVOCATE OF THE PERSON ONLY

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INITIAL PLAN OF GUARDIAN ADVOCATE OF THE PERSON

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PETITION FOR EXEMPTION OF GUARDIAN ADVOCATES FROM BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION REQUIREMENTS

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ORDER EXEMPTING GUARDIAN ADVOCATE FROM BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION REQUIREMENTS

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ORDER APPOINTING STANDBY GUARDIAN ADVOCATE OF THE PERSON ONLY

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JOINT STIPULATION FOR APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIAN ADVOCATE

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ANNUAL GUARDIAN ADVOCATE REPORT

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VERIFIED INVENTORY - INITIAL GUARDIANSHIP REPORT OF GUARDIAN OF THE PROPERTY

VERIFIED INVENTORY - INITIAL GUARDIANSHIP REPORT OF GUARDIAN OF THE PROPERTY

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INITIAL GUARDIANSHIP REPORT/PLAN BY GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON (adult ward)

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INITIAL GUARDIANSHIP REPORT/PLAN OF GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON (minor ward)

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ANNUAL GUARDIANSHIP REPORT/PLAN BY GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON (adult ward)

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ACCOUNTING OF GUARDIAN OF THE PROPERTY

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SIMPLIFIED ANNUAL ACCOUNTING OF GUARDIAN OF THE PROPERTY

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ANNUAL GUARDIANSHIP REPORT/PLAN OF GUARDIAN OF THE PERSON (minor ward)

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