Guardianship

Guardianship is the management of the affairs of someone who has been judged unable to manage their own affairs. Generally, guardianship is ordered by a court on behalf of someone who is called a ward of the court. A guardian assumes the rights of the ward to make decisions about many aspects of daily life. A guardian is directed by ethics and statute to make decisions in the best interest of the ward. Chester Clem can counsel and assist you with matters pertaining to guardianship.

Guardianship Overview

Guardianship is the management of the affairs of someone who has been judged unable to manage their own affairs. Generally, guardianship is ordered by a court on behalf of someone who is called a ward of the court. A guardian assumes the rights of the ward to make decisions about many aspects of daily life. A guardian is directed by ethics and statute to make decisions in the best interest of the ward.

The two most common types of guardianship are limited and plenary. In a limited guardianship the guardian assumes only the delegable rights specifically given by a court order. The subject of the guardianship (called a ward of the court) keeps all other decision-making rights not specifically outlined by the court. In a plenary guardianship the rights enumerated in Florida law that can be delegated can be applied to the person, their estate, or both.

Guardianship of the person may allow the guardian to have responsibility for:
  • determining and monitoring place of the ward’s residence;
  • consenting to and monitoring medical treatment;
  • consenting to and monitoring non-medical services such as education or counseling;
  • releasing confidential information;
  • making end-of-life decisions; and
  • maximizing independence in least restrictive manner
Guardianship of the estate may include anything that is the subject of ownership, whether tangible or intangible. The court may order the guardian to take control of and be responsible for:
  • acting as representative payee;
  • determining benefits;
  • obtaining appraisals of property;
  • protecting property and assets from loss;
  • receiving income for the estate; and
  • making appropriate disbursements.
Florida has specific laws governing guardianship proceedings and guardian activities, all of which are designed to protect the interests of the ward. A Florida guardian is accountable to the local court and must report annually on the status of the ward and account for all financial activity.

Title XLIII Chapter 744, Florida Statutes, controls how guardianships are applied.

Because establishing a guardianship is highly intrusive and involves the removal of rights from an individual, it should be considered only after all alternatives have been examined. When an individual still retains the capacity to act on his/her own behalf, the following may be evaluated and determined as viable alternatives to guardianship:
  • Case /care management
  • Healthcare surrogacy
  • Living Trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Living wills
  • Joint tenancy
  • Community services

By visiting this website, you have requested information about Chester Clem, P.A. The content herein should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any such content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in Florida.

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Chester Clem, P.A.
2145 15th Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32960-3435
 
772-978-7676
772-978-7675 (Fax)

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