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Voluntary Guardianship In Florida


Although many people do not like thinking about it, there comes a time when a person cannot manage their financial affairs. A person could become unable to manage their financial affairs due to age or a health problem. Also, an unexpected accident could happen, leaving an otherwise capable adult unable to manage their property. If you are an older adult, have a health problem or a severe injury, and cannot manage your property, voluntary guardianship could be an option for you. Read on to learn more about voluntary guardianship.

What Is Voluntary Guardianship?

Often, when the court appoints a guardian for an adult, it’s the family members of the adult who cannot manage their affairs who initiate the guardianship process. This is called involuntary guardianship. But, if an adult recognizes that they can no longer manage their property, they can seek voluntary guardianship. In Florida, voluntary guardianship is governed by Section 744.341 of the Florida Statutes. If you’ve realized you can no longer manage your financial affairs, you can petition the court to have another person appointed as your guardian. If the court approves your petition, the person appointed as guardian will be given the legal power to make financial decisions on your behalf.

It is crucial to note that voluntary guardianship is limited to property in Florida. In other words, if you file a voluntary guardianship petition and the court approves your petition, the appointed guardian will not have the power to make medical or residential decisions on your behalf.

Elements of a Voluntary Guardianship Petition

It is crucial to note that in Florida, the adult seeking voluntary guardianship must have the requisite mental capacity to ask for a guardian. Usually, the law requires that you obtain an affidavit from a medical professional stating that you have mental competency. In the affidavit, the physician must state that they examined you and found you competent to understand the nature of the arrangement and the consequences of delegating authority.

Other things you must do if you are seeking voluntary guardianship in Florida include the following;

  • State your intention to have the court appoint a guardian over your property.
  • Provide information about the name, address, and residence of the person you wish to be your guardian.
  • Assert that the proposed individual is willing and qualified to serve
  • State the scope of the petition. You can seek to have the court appoint a guardian to oversee all your property or limited assets.

Guardianship Responsibilities

As mentioned already, depending on your circumstances, you may seek to have the court appoint a guardian to oversee specific assets or all your property. Whichever the case, your guardian will be obligated to act in your best interest, which includes safeguarding your property from waste and fraud and refraining from self-dealing. Additionally, your guardian will be required to file regular accounts with the court.

Terminating a Voluntary Guardianship

If you recover and no longer need a guardian, you can terminate guardianship by filing a notice with the court requesting for termination of the voluntary guardianship. Voluntary guardianships are also terminated upon the death of the petitioner.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Guardianship Attorney

Do you need more information on voluntary guardianship? Do you need help determining if voluntary guardianship is right for you? Contact our skilled Fort Lauderdale guardianship attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A., to schedule a consultation.


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