Any resident of the State of Florida who is 18 years old and any non-resident who is related to the ward by blood, marriage, or legal adoption may be a guardian. Additionally, a bank or trust company may be appointed the guardian of the ward’s property, and a religious or charitable nonprofit corporation can be appointed the guardian of a ward’s person. Lastly, if a ward has no one to care for them, a public guardian can be appointed.
For an uncontested guardianship, the process can usually be completed within 90 days. This process can be delayed if the guardianship is based on a mental health diagnosis due to the medical evaluation requirements
Under §393.063(12), Florida Statutes, a person is considered to have a “developmental disability” if he or she has (1) been diagnosed with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, Prader-Willi, Down or Phelan-McDermid syndromes, (2) that manifested before the age of 18, and (3) constitutes a substantial handicap that can be expected to continue indefinitely.
Yes. You can apply to be Guardian Advocate of the Person, the Property or both. A Guardian Advocate of the Person can seek to make personal decisions, including determining residence, consenting to medical or mental health treatment, and making social decisions. A Guardian Advocate of Property can ask the court to make property decisions, like contracting, suing and defending lawsuits, and managing property or making gifts. Generally, both can request the right to seek government benefits.
No. A Guardian Advocate has the same powers and duties as a guardian under chapter 744, Florida Statutes, limited only by the court’s order that sets out the types of decisions delegated.
Probate is needed even when a decedent has a valid will. When someone dies with a will, a probate judge must “admit the will” to probate by finding that the will is valid.
Florida law requires that a will must be signed by the testator (the person writing the will) and two witnesses to be enforceable. The testator must either sign in front of the witnesses or tell the witnesses that he or she previously signed the will. The witnesses must sign together in the presence of each other and in the presence of the testator. It is not necessary for a will to be notarized for the document to be valid, however, notarized wills are preferred because they are easier to admit to probate court. A notarized will is referred to as a “self-proved will.”
Probate is needed even when a decedent has a valid will. When someone dies with a will, a probate judge must “admit the will” to probate by finding that the will is valid