The Clearwater Probate Lawyer
Main Office:
10161 Centurion Parkway, N., Suite 310
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
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Email: Info@TheClearwaterProbateLawyer.com

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Florida Guardianship Attorneys and Lawyers
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What Is Guardianship? 

 

1.  WHAT IS A GUARDIANSHIP?

2.  WHAT IS A GUARDIAN?

3.  HOW IS A PERSON DETERMINED TO BE INCAPACITATED?

4.  WHO MAY SERVE AS GUARDIAN?

5.  WHAT DOES A GUARDIAN DO?

6.  IS A GUARDIAN ACCOUNTABLE?

7.  IS GUARDIANSHIP PERMANENT?

8.  IS GUARDIANSHIP THE ONLY MEANS OF HELPING AN INCAPACITATED PERSON?

9.  WHAT ABOUT GUARDIANS FOR MINORS?

10.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GUARDIANSHIP

1.  WHAT IS A GUARDIANSHIP? 

A guardianship is a legal proceeding in the circuit courts of Florida in which a guardian is appointed to exercise the legal rights of an incapacitated person.  Florida guardianship law is set forth in Florida Statutes, Chapter 744.  (Back to the Top)

2.  WHAT IS A GUARDIAN? 

A guardian is an individual or institution such as a bank trust department appointed by the court to care for an incapacitated person-called a "ward"-or for the ward's assets.  The guardian must be represented in probate court by a guardianship attorney.   (Back to the Top)

3.  HOW IS A PERSON DETERMINED TO BE INCAPACITATED? 

Any adult may file with the probate court a petition to determine another person's incapacity setting forth the factual information upon which they base their belief that the person is incapacitated. The probate court then appoints a committee of two professionals, usually physicians, and a lay person to examine the person and report its findings to the probate court. The probate court also appoints a guardianship attorney to represent the person alleged to be incapacitated. If the examining committee concludes that the alleged incapacitated person is not incapacitated in any way, the court will dismiss the petition. If the examining committee finds the person to be incapable of exercising certain rights, however, the probate court schedules a hearing to determine whether the person is totally or partially incapacitated. A guardian is usually appointed at the end of the incapacity hearing.

If you need the assistance of a Florida probate lawyer for a guardianship in Clearwater, or Pinellas County, Florida
please call us at 866-510-9099.
(Back to the Top)

4.  WHO MAY SERVE AS GUARDIAN? 

Any adult resident of Florida can serve as a guardian. A close relative of the ward who does not live in Florida may also serve as a guardian. Persons who have been convicted of a felony or who are incapable of carrying out the duties of a guardian cannot be appointed. Institutions such as a bank trust department, a nonprofit religious or charitable corporation, or a public guardian, can be appointed guardian, but a bank trust department may only act as guardian of the property. The court gives consideration to the wishes expressed by the incapacitated person in a written declaration of preneed guardian or at the hearing.  (Back to the Top) 

5.  WHAT DOES A GUARDIAN DO? 

A guardian who is given authority over any property of the ward shall inventory the property, invest it prudently, use it for the ward's support, and account for it by filing detailed annual reports with the court. In addition, the guardian must obtain probate court approval for certain financial transactions.

The guardian of the ward's person may exercise those rights that have been removed from the ward and delegated to the guardian, such as providing medical, mental and personal care services and determining the place and kind of residential setting best suited for the ward. The guardian of the person must also present to the court every year a detailed plan for the ward's care.  (Back to the Top) 

6.  IS A GUARDIAN ACCOUNTABLE? 

Yes. Guardians must be represented by a Florida guardianship attorney who will serve as "attorney of record." Guardians are usually required to furnish a bond and may be required to complete a probate court-approved training program. The Clerk of the Court reviews all annual reports of guardians of the person and property and presents them to the court for approval. A guardian who does not properly carry out his or her responsibilities may be removed by the probate court. (Back to the Top) 

7.  IS GUARDIANSHIP PERMANENT? 

Not necessarily. If a person recovers in whole or part from the condition that caused him or her to be incapacitated, the court will have the ward reexamined and can restore some or all of the person's rights. (Back to the Top) 

8.  IS GUARDIANSHIP THE ONLY MEANS OF HELPING AN INCAPACITATED PERSON? 

No. Florida law requires the use of less restrictive alternatives to protect persons incapable of caring for themselves and managing their financial affairs whenever possible. If a person creates an advance health care directive and a durable power of attorney or revocable living trust while competent, he or she may not require a guardian in the event of incapacity.  (Back to the Top)

9.  WHAT ABOUT GUARDIANS FOR MINORS? 

A child's parents are the child's natural guardians and in general may act for the child. In circumstances where the parents die or become incapacitated or if a child receives an inheritance or proceeds of a lawsuit or insurance policy exceeding $15,000, the court must appoint a guardian. Both parents or a surviving parent may make and file with the Clerk of the Court a written declaration naming a guardian of the child's person or property to serve if both parents die or become incapacitated. A guardian may also be designated in a will in which the child is a beneficiary.  A very important consideration with respect to the guardianship of a minor child's property is that when the child becomes 18 years of age, the probate court will distribute all of the assets outright to the child.  

If you need the assistance of a Florida probate lawyer for the guardianship of the property of a minor child in Clearwater, or Pinellas County, Florida, please call us at 866-510-9099.
 
(Back to the Top) 

10.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GUARDIANSHIP: 

Contact your Florida guardianship lawyer or attorney, your local bar association, or THE FLORIDA BAR LAWYER REFERRAL SERVICE, at 1-800-342-8011.  (Back to the Top)

This material represents general legal information. Since the law is continually changing, some provisions in may be out of date. It is always best to consult an experienced Florida guardianship lawyer or attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.

Florida probate lawyer directory of counties and cities in which the Clearwater Florida estate planning, elder law, guardianship, Medicaid planning, nursing home abuse, and probate lawyers and attorneys offer Clearwater Florida estate planning, nursing home abuse, elder law, Medicaid planning, guardianship, and probate services:

Alachua

Gainesville, Alachua, Hawthorne, High Springs, Waldo, Newberry, Micanopy

Bay

Panama City, Panama City, Beach, Lynn Haven, Youngstown

Baker

Macclenny, Glen Saint Mary

Bradford

Starke, Brooker, Hampton

Brevard

Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Titusville, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cape Canaveral, Satellite Beach, Rockledge, Barefoot Bay, Indialantic, Malabar

Broward

Ft. Lauderdale, Davie, Sunrise, Weston, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Hallendale, Plantation, Dania Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Miramar, Oakland Park, Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, Wilton Manors, Hillsboro Beach, Pembroke Park, Cooper City, Port Everglades, Sea Ranch Lakes, Southwest Ranches

Calhoun

Blountstown

Charlotte

Punta Gorda, Charlotte, Port Charlotte, Palm Island

Citrus

Crystal River, Homosassa Springs, Inverness

Clay

Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Keystone Heights, Penny Farms

Collier

Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City, Golden Gate, Immokalee, Palm River Estates, Ochopee

Columbia

Lake City, Fort White

DeSoto

Arcadia, Brownville, Fort Ogden, Hull, Pine Level, Platt

Dixie

Cross City, Horseshoe Beach, Old Town

Duval

Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach

Escambia

Pensacola

Flagler

Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, Bunnell, Beverly Beach, Marineland

Franklin

Apalachicola

Gadsden

Quincy, Chattahoochee

Gilchrest

Trenton

Glades

Moorehaven

Gulf

Port St. Joe, Wewahitchka

Hamilton

Jasper, White Springs

Hardee

Wauchula

Hendry

Clewiston, LaBelle

Hernando

Brooksville, Weeki Wachi

Highlands

Avon Park, Sebring, Lake Placid, Leisure Lakes

Hillsborough

Tampa, Plant City, Temple Terrace, Apollo Beach, Brandon, Lutz, Ruskin, Sun City Center, Riverview, Dover, Thonotosassa, Ybor City

Holmes

Bonifay

Indian River

Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, Fellsmere, Sebastian

Jackson

Marianna

Jefferson

Monticello

Lafayette

Mayo

Lake

Altoona, Clermont, Eustis, Fruitland Park, Lady lake, Leesburg, Minneola, Mount Dora, Tavares, Umatilla

Lee County

Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel, Boca Grande, Estero, San Carlos Park, Lehigh Acres, Waterway Estates

Leon

Tallahassee

Levy

Bronson, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Williston, Yankeetown

Liberty

Bristol

Madison

Madison

Manatee

Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Palmetto, Myakka City

Marion

Ocala, Leesburg, Belleview, Citra, Dunnellon, Salt Springs, Weirsdale

Martin

Stuart, Sewall’s Point, Hobe Sound, Jensen Beach, Jupiter Island, Ocean Breeze Park, Palm City

Miami-Dade

Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, South Miami, Kendall, Homestead, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Miami Shores, Miami Lakes, Aventura, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Hialeah Gardens, Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, Surfside, Cutler Bay, Doral, Golden Beach, Indian Village, Islandia, Medley, Miami Gardens, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach, Sweetwater, Virginia Gardens, Florida City, Goulds, Biscayne Park

Monroe

Key West, Islamorada, Key Largo, Marathon, Big Pine Key, Key Colony Beach, Sugarloaf Key, Tavernier

Nassau

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Hilliard, Yulee, Callahan

Okaloosa

Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Cinco Bayou, Destin, Shalimar Valparaiso

Okeechobee

Okeechobee

Orange

Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Apopka, Edgewood, Maitland, Ocoee, Windemere, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Zellwood

Osceola

Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Celebration

Palm Beach

Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Highland Beach, Hypoluxo, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Pahokee, Tequesta, Riviera Beach, Loxahatchee, Manalapan, Ocean Ridge, Glen Ridge

Pasco

New Port Richey, Bayonet Point, Gulf Harbors, Dade City, Holiday, Hudson, Land O’Lakes, Odessa, St. Leo, Zephyrhills

Pinellas

St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dunedin, Gulfport, Largo, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Treasure Island, Belleair, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Seminole, Indian Rocks Beach                  

Polk

Lakeland, Auburndale. Bartow, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Lake Wales, Winter Haven, Frostproof, Polk City, Highland Park, Indian Lake Estates

Putnam

Palatka, Interlachen

Santa Rosa

Gulf Breeze, Milton

Sarasota

Sarasota, Longboat Key, North Port, Venice

Seminole

Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Lake Mary, Longwood, Oviedo, Sanford, Winter Springs

St. Johns

St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, Nocatee, Crescent City, Melrose, Pomona Park, Welaka

St. Lucie

Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie

Sumter

Wildwood, Bushnell, The Villages

Suwannee

Live Oak

Taylor

Perry, Steinhatchee

Union

Lake Butler

Volusia

Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Deland, Deltona, Edgewater, Holly Hill, Ponce Inlet, Port Orange

Wakulla

 

Walton

DeFuniak Springs, Seaside

Washington

Chipley

 

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