If you have a loved one who is elderly, infirm or intellectually disabled, you may worry about their ability to take care of themselves. If you feel that your loved one needs someone to help them manage their day-to-day life, as well as make bigger decisions about caring for themselves or protecting their self-interest, you may wish to explore legal guardianship.
Guardianships provide a legal, protective relationship for your loved ones to help them stay safe and happy. Florida residents can apply for guardianship through the family court system.
The guardian’s responsibilities
The guardian’s duties depend on whether they are a guardian of the person, property, or both. A person responsible for both categories is a plenary guardian. The person being taken care of is a ward.
Guardians of the person
Guardians of the person must provide for the ward’s medical, mental, personal, and social care. The guardian must file a written plan with the court and update it annually. This includes:
- Where the ward will live
- Who will provide medical care
- What sort of social interactions they will have
Guardians of the property
Guardians of the property must manage and protect the ward’s assets. The initial guardianship report will include an inventory and a management plan and requires an annual update. The annual accounting must include a full record of all transactions involving the ward’s assets.
If you have concerns that a loved one may not be able to take care of themselves or their affairs, obtaining legal guardianship may give you the ability to provide the help that they need.