When someone you love in Florida is or becomes unable to manage his or her own finances and other personal affairs, you may start exploring your options and trying to figure out how to help protect this person’s safety and property. You may have several options available in this situation, and one such option involves establishing a guardianship.
Per The Florida Bar, there are certain responsibilities expected of a Florida guardian. There is also a certain process you must follow to create a guardianship.
Who may serve as a guardian in Florida
Most Florida adults are eligible to serve as guardians in Florida. However, if you have any felony convictions or are incapable of fulfilling the typical duties of a guardian, the state is not going to appoint you a guardian over someone else. Often, family members of the “ward,” or the party needing the guardianship, take on the role, but familial relation is not a requirement. If you are a relative, you may be able to assume the guardian role even if you do not live within state lines.
What a guardian does in Florida
The main responsibility of the guardian is to oversee the ward’s interests. If appointed someone’s guardian, expect to have to inventory the ward’s possessions and figure out how to maximize their worth through investments or similar means. You may also help decide what type of medical or personal care the ward receives and where he or she should receive that care, among other possible guardian obligations.
A guardianship does involve stripping away some of the ward’s rights. For this reason, you may want to consider alternative options before moving forward with a guardianship.