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Emergency Temporary Guardianship In Florida


When an individual’s ability to make decisions becomes so impaired, the court may give another person the right to make decisions. The process by which the court gives the right to make decisions to another person after finding that an individual’s ability to make decisions is so impaired is called guardianship. The guardianship process generally entails filing the petition, the court appointing a committee to examine the alleged incapacitated person, the committee filing a report, an adjudicatory hearing, and the court appointing a guardian. Sometimes, however, before the appointment of a guardian, the court may assign an emergency temporary guardian (ETG). Read on to learn more about emergency temporary guardianship in Florida.

When Can the Court Appoint an Emergency Temporary Guardian?

According to Florida Statute 744.3031, the court can appoint an emergency temporary guardian if it finds an individual’s health or welfare is in imminent danger. The court can also appoint an emergency temporary guardian if it finds that the individual’s property is at risk of being embezzled, wasted, or lost if prompt action is not taken.

Filing a Petition for an Emergency Temporary Guardian

The subject of a guardianship proceeding can file a petition for an emergency temporary guardian. This petition can also be filed by any adult interested in the welfare of the alleged incapacitated individual. Once a petition is filed, a notice must be served on the supposed incapacitated individual’s lawyer at least one day before the hearing on the petition starts. However, if the petitioner shows that serious harm would befall the alleged incapacitated individual if the one-day notice is given, there will not be a requirement to provide the alleged incapacitated person’s lawyer with a notice at least one day before the hearing on the petition starts.

After the court appoints an emergency temporary guardian, the ETG must take an oath to perform a guardian’s duties faithfully. It is after the oath that letters of emergency temporary guardianship are issued.

Tips for Filing a Petition for Appointment of an Emergency Temporary Guardian

If your loved one is in imminent danger, or their property is in danger of being wasted, lost, or misappropriated, and you are considering pursuing an emergency temporary guardianship, it is crucial that you act fast. Every day you wait to take action could place your loved one or their property in greater danger. Secondly, document the facts in a journal, take pictures and videos to document, and write down people who may have personal knowledge of the situation. Last but certainly not least, reach out to a skilled guardianship attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you file your petition and prove your case.

For How Long Do Emergency Temporary Guardianships Last?

An emergency temporary guardianship lasts up to 90 days or until a guardian is appointed, whichever occurs first. But, if the situation does not improve, the court can extend the emergency temporary guardianship for an extra 90 days. In cases where longer guardianship is requested, the court will look at additional evidence of prospective risk.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Guardianship Attorney

For legal help, contact our experienced Fort Lauderdale guardianship attorneys at the law offices of Joyce A. Julian.


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