If you are a Court Appointed Guardian in you may be concerned about the Responsibilities of a Court Appointed Guardian in Jacksonville, Fl. It is important to understand the rights as well as the responsibilities when acting as a guardian in Florida. It does not matter if you are simply the guardian of a minor or the guardian of the person and property of an adult. Your responsibilities are numerous and are laid out by the Florida Probate Code.
In Florida, you must be represented by an attorney to become someone’s guardian no matter the situation. However, once appointed, there are a few limited circumstances where the Court may allow you to proceed pro se, without the representation of an attorney.
Guardianship of the Person
If you have been appointed the guardian of the person of a minor or an adult, you will have to file an Annual Guardianship Plan with the Court. The purpose of the Annual Plan is to advise the Court of where the Ward (the individual under the guardianship) is located as well as what is being done to meet all of their healthcare needs. The plan is also accompanied by a recent doctor report, which advises the Court whether or not a guardianship is still necessary. If you wish to move the Ward to another county or state, you will first have to seek the Court’s permission to do so.
Guardianship of Property
Being a guardian of someone’s property comes with a lot of responsibilities. The most important thing to always keep in mind is to keep a detailed record of everything you do and only purchase items or pay bills that are in the best interest of the Ward. If you are unsure if something is in the Ward’s best interest, consult your attorney. Erring on the side of caution, your attorney may suggest it is a good idea to first get permission from the Court for the expense.
Every year, you will be required to provide the Court with a very detailed accounting of how you managed the Ward’s assets (the Annual Accounting). Therefore, depending on the amount of assets the Ward has and how many expenses and needs they have will greatly influence the extent of the accounting you will have to provide. As a guardianship attorney myself, I always prefer to work with my client’s on a monthly budget when the guardianship is initially set up. Once the monthly budget has been hammered out, I then obtain the Court’s permission for that amount to be automatically paid each month from the Ward’s assets. If anything arises outside of this budget, I generally suggest obtaining the Court’s permission, especially if it is a large expense.
Being a guardian is no simple task and usually becomes necessary during the worst of times. This is why it is so important to seek the guidance of an experienced Guardianship Attorney who can walk you through the process and provide you with guidance the will need. An attorney will also help you determine if guardianship is your best and only option. Many times a Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer can help accomplish your goals without the need to establish a guardianship. Contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman today. 904-685-1200