Guardianship in Florida is governed by Chapter 744, Florida Statutes and the Florida Rules of Guardianship Procedure. Guardianship is usually initiated by a person related to an incapacitated person. An incapacitated person may be an individual who cannot manage his financial affairs or his personal or health care needs. There is a formalized procedure under Florida law to protect the assets and rights of the individual who is having certain rights taken away from them and placed into the hands of a Court appointed guardian.
Guardianships can be temporary or permanent. They can involve taking control of an individuals finances or their health care needs or it can involve the entire person and their property.
The Guardian has to file an annual plan for caring for the incapacitated person and has to file an annual accounting of income and disbursements if the Guardian is handling the individuals finances.
A guardianship will supercede a Durable Power of Attorney. With proper planning, an individual can prepare a durable power of attorney with a health care designation which will do everything a guardianship will do without Court intervention. As Charles Wynn advises his clients, “you only give these powers to someone you trust with your flesh and your finances because you can get skinned both ways. But, if you trust them, the durable power of attorney can be worth more than its weight in gold.”