What is an “Inform Article”?
The Inform category shows you the newest information on an issue. This can include updates, news, reports, studies, and general information. Anything that would "inform" you as to what is happening with an issue.
How Do I Obtain Guardianship for a Loved One?
What Should I Do When a Loved One is Unable to Take Care of Him- or Herself?
A Plenary (full) Guardianship is the legal process used when an adult is unable to make decisions for him/herself. Guardianships are not granted liberally. When a person petitions a Court for a guardianship, the Court must determine whether the proposed ward has capacity to make basic decisions for him/herself. Often a guardianship is used when the ward has severe dementia or Alzheimer's disease and is unable to make basic decisions for him/herself.
Once the Petition to Determine Incapacity is filed, the Court will appoint a panel of three independent medical professionals to review the proposed ward's medical records and interview the ward. A Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Person and/or Property is also filed.
Who can serve as the Guardian?
Under Florida law, any person can be appointed guardian of a ward if he/she is a resident of Florida, age 18 or older, and is competent. Florida law does allow a non-resident of the state to serve as guardian if he/she is related to the proposed ward. It is important to the Court that the person selected as guardian be an honest and trustworthy adult. Additionally, a trust company, bank, or non-profit company may be appointed as guardian.
A person may not serve as a guardian if...
- He or she has a business or financial relationship to the ward;
- He or she is a creditor of the ward;
- He or she provides health care services to the ward;
- He or she has been convicted of a felony;
- He or she has committed abuse or neglect against a child; or
- He or she is unable to discharge the duties as a guardian.
The Court may allow an exception to the above list of disqualifiers on a case by case basis. The Court will weigh the size of the ward's estate and guardian's circumstances.
What is the role of a guardian?
The guardian may exercise whatever rights have been delegated to the guardian. Most often, the guardian must oversee the ward's financial assets and provide an annual inventory and accounting of the ward's assets to the Court and provide an Annual Plan of the Person.
If you have questions regarding the guardianship process, you may contact:
Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County: (561) 655-8944
Lawyer Referral Service: (561) 687-3266
Clerk and Comptroller's Office: (561) 355-6511
IMPORTANT: The information on this Website is not intended as legal advice or representation. No attorney-client relationship is created between the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc. and any person obtaining information from this website. Public benefits and other laws change frequently. We strive to keep this website up to date but cannot provide a guarantee that this information is accurate as of the time you are reading it.