A Guardian is an individual or professional guardianship company appointed by the Court to care for and protect an incapacitated person, his or her assets, or both. The incapacitated person is called a Ward.
A person will be determined to be legally incapacitated at a hearing where the Court will consider the findings of a three person examination committee, one of which must be a physician. The Court also appoints an attorney to represent the Ward.
Once a person is found to be either partially or totally incapacitated, a Guardian will be appointed. The Guardian has authority over the Ward’s property and must invest it prudently and use it for the Ward’s support. The Guardian will also oversee the Ward’s medical, social, and personal care.
The Guardian must be represented by an attorney and will sometimes be required to file a bond, depending on the size and nature of the Ward’s assets. An educational program may also be required.
The Guardian is accountable to the Court and must file an inventory, annual accounting, and care plan. A Guardian can resign.
A Guardianship can be terminated if the Ward is recovered in whole or in part from the condition that caused the incapacity. The Court will order a reexamination and can restore some or all of the Ward’s legal rights.
If you are worried about a loved one, contact the Law Office of Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Attorney Debra G. Simms. We will help guide you through this difficult process.