Terminating A Florida Guardianship: Resignation And Removal
In Florida, courts will sometimes appoint guardians for aging or disabled individuals whose ability to make decisions in their own best interest has become severely impaired. Usually, this is done so that the guardians can help the wards (the aging or disabled individuals) with decision-making, or to ensure that their financial needs are met. Generally, in Florida, guardianship is a tool used when an injury, chronic condition, medical problem, or other factor causes an individual to lose the ability to make decisions about their care or handle their own financial matters. However, it is crucial to note that guardianship is applicable when the Court finds no other alternative. Usually, in Florida, guardianship is seen as a last resort.
Appointing a guardian for a disabled or an aging individual has many benefits. For instance, one of the main benefits of guardianship is that it offers wards stability. A guardian can, for example, prevent a ward from engaging in reckless financial behavior, thus protecting the ward’s assets. Nevertheless, while guardianship offers many benefits, there are times when the need to terminate guardianship may arise. For example, if there is no longer a need for a guardian, termination of guardianship may be necessary. Also, there are times when an individual may find it essential to have a guardian removed to protect their loved one. What happens in such situations? How can a guardianship be ended in Florida?
Depending on the specific situation, a guardian can either resign or be removed in Florida.
Resigning of a Guardian
If, as a guardian, you are the one terminating guardianship, what you are doing is known as “resignation.” Generally, a Florida guardian can resign if:
- guardianship is no longer required; or
- a less-restrictive alternative or an appropriate successor guardian has been identified.
According to Florida Statute 744.467, a Florida guardian can resign after giving notice to the Court and the surety on their bond. Additionally, according to Florida law, before a Florida guardian of the property can be discharged, they need to, among other things;
- file an accurate final report of their guardianship;
- deliver to the successor guardian (if applicable) all of the ward’s property, all necessary records pertaining to the assets of the ward or of the guardianship, and all the money they owe the ward;
- deliver to the successor guardian (if applicable) copies of records pertaining to the ward’s personal or medical care.
It is crucial to note that a Florida guardian can seek to resign for various reasons, including;
- The ward’s relocation
- The ward being restored to capacity
- The guardian being unable to locate the ward
Removing a Guardian
When another individual seeks to terminate a guardian, it is known as “removal.” According to Florida Statute 744.474, there are several reasons why another person may remove a guardian. These reasons include the following:
- Fraud during the time of appointment
- Abuse of powers
- Disobeying a court order
- Wasting, embezzling, or mismanaging a ward’s property in any other way
- Being convicted of a felony
- Being rendered incapable of being a guardian because of an illness or incapacity
- Improper management of a ward’s assets
It is advisable for anyone seeking to have a guardian removed to seek legal representation.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Guardianship Attorney
If you need more information on guardianship termination in Florida or help with getting an incompetent guardian removed, do not hesitate to contact one of our Fort Lauderdale guardianship attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A. today.