Guardianship of Minor: When does a Minor need a Guardianship?

Guardianship of Minor: When does a Minor need a Guardianship?

When is a Guardianship of Minor needed  in Jacksonville, Florida? Under Florida Law, there are two types of guardianships of minors. The first type of Guardianship of a Minor is called a Guardianship of the Person. Guardianship of the person is when someone other than a minor’s parents is given authority to make health care, residence, and school-related decisions for the minor. The second type of Guardianship of a minor is a Guardianship of Property. A Guardian of a minor’s property is necessary to deal with financial or assets more substantial than $15,000.

Here is an example of when a Guardianship will be required for a minor child: A minor loses his first a parent at a very young age to cancer. Five years later, the minor loses his second parent in a car accident. At the time of the second parent’s death, there was a life insurance policy for $100,000.00 that named the minor as the beneficiary. The second parent had designated the grandparents as guardians in a valid will.

What type of guardianship(s) will the minor’s grandparents need to be able to care for their grandson?

Answer: Both the minor will need a Guardianship of the Person and a Guardianship of the Property.

Guardianship of the Person: The grandparents will need to become the Guardianship of the Person. A minor needs a Guardianship of the Person under Florida Law whenever someone, other than the minor’s natural guardian (parents), needs to make daily decisions about the care and living arrangements of the minor including healthcare or school-related decisions. Accordingly, even though the in this example a guardian was chosen by the second parent, the guardian over the person will still need to be appointed and approved by a judge.

Guardianship of Property: A minor needs a Guardianship of Property to manage financially based assets as defined in the Florida Statutes.

Florida Statute 744.301(2) explicitly states “[e]xcept as otherwise provided in this chapter, on behalf of any of their minor children, and without appointment, authority, or bond if the amounts received in the aggregate do not exceed $15,000, natural guardians” may settle claims on behalf of their minor child and “collect, receive, manage and dispose of” money received in a settlement, an inheritance, or life insurance proceeds.

With smaller settlements, a guardian of the property may be required when there are not natural guardians.

In the example above, the grandparents will also need a Guardianship of Property in order to collect the life insurance proceeds on behalf of the minor. Since the insurance proceeds are over the $15,000.00 threshold set by Florida Law, the court will need to appoint a Guardian of Property to receive the insurance as well as other property from the minor’s parents. Another common issue that creates a need for a minor to have a Guardianship of Property is when there is a personal injury or wrongful death action filed on behalf of the minor.

A Guardianship of Property in Jacksonville, Florida is not always required with the death of the minor’s parents, but also may be required when the minor has parents. Under Florida Law, any guardian must be represented by an attorney. Contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC today to speak with a Guardianship attorney for Minor Children who can help you determine if you need a guardianship of minor children.

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