The Different Kinds of Guardianship in the State of Florida

Guardianship in the State of Florida is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Guardianship can come in various forms. For those who want to learn about this area, it’s important to have a basic grasp of the different types of guardianship which can be created. In this post, we will go over the basics of guardianship and then introduce a few of the kinds of guardianship which can be established.

Recap on Basics of Guardianship

As we discussed in previous articles, guardianship is a legal arrangement in which one person is appointed to manage the affairs of another person. In practice, this means that the appointed guardian is able to exercise the rights of the other person; the guardian is able to develop enforceable contracts, make decisions regarding medical treatment, make decisions regarding living arrangements, finances, and so forth. The individual over whom the guardian is appointed cannot do many things which most people normally can do, such as vote, enter into a marriage, file a lawsuit, manage their own finances, and so on. Ordinarily, the person subject to the guardianship suffers from a serious debilitating medical condition which renders independent living impossible.

Pre-Need Guardianship

One type of guardianship available in Florida is referred to as a “pre-need guardianship.” This type of guardianship occurs when a person selects a guardian for himself or herself before they need a guardian. A person might do this if they suspect that they might become incapacitated in the future. We can imagine that this might be conducted by someone engaged in a very dangerous profession. The selection of a pre-need guardian must be in put into writing and witnessed by at least two people. If the person does eventually need the guardian appointed in the future, the court will appoint the selected guardian as long as that person is qualified.

Voluntary Guardianship

There may be cases in which a person isn’t fully incapacitated, but simply wishes to transfer over certain responsibilities to a guardian. This arrangement is referred to as voluntary guardianship. Voluntary guardianships may be necessary because of a person’s age or physical condition. In these arrangements, the guardian is appointed to look after certain very specific things, such as a person’s finances or investments. Voluntary guardianship can be terminated at any time, unilaterally, by the subject of the guardianship.

Emergency Temporary Guardianship

In some cases, the process of determining a permanent guardian can take quite a long time. The court may appoint an emergency temporary guardian if there is a need to ensure that no harm comes to a person or a person’s assets. In other words, courts occasionally recognize that there is an immediate need for a person (and that person’s estate) to be assisted by a guardian, and may issue a guardianship order to fulfill this need. This temporary order will then be either eliminated or amended at the end of the court process.

Contact the Denise Jomarron Legal Group for More Information

These are just overviews of these various types of guardianship. There is a lot more to know. If you have any questions or wish to learn more, contact Denise Jomarron at (305) 402-4494.

Image credit: Patrick Feller

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