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In today's world, guardianships have become increasingly essential, empowering parents, friends, or caregivers to make decisions regarding medical, financial, property, living arrangements, contracts, and public benefits on behalf of their ward.


This guardianship under Florida Statute allows for an adult to take care of a minor child, and also have control of the minor child's property. A guardianship may be needed when a child receives more than $15,000.00 from a settlement or inheritance.


A guardianship may also be needed for a minor child if the biological parent(s) becomes unable to care for the child. A guardianship does not substitute for an adoption, as it does not take away the right of the parents to have custody of the child.


Upon a petition by the natural guardians (parents) or a guardian who has already been appointed, the court may appoint a standby guardian of the person or property of a minor or a ward.


The standby guardian or alternate shall be empowered to assume the duties of guardianship immediately on the death, removal, or resignation of the guardian of a minor, or on the death or adjudication of incapacity of the last surviving natural guardian of a minor, or upon the death, removal, or resignation of the guardian for an adult.


Guardianship for an adult is a legal arrangement that allows a responsible individual or entity to make critical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated adult, often referred to as a ward.


This crucial legal tool is designed to protect vulnerable adults who may be unable to make decisions about their own well-being, finances, healthcare, and living arrangements due to physical or mental incapacitation.


A Pre-Need Guardianship allows an individual to express their desire for who they want to serve as their guardian should the need for guardianship arise in the future.


This proactive approach offers a valuable opportunity for individuals to make informed decisions about their future care and decision-making, giving them a say in their own well-being. By designating a preferred guardian in advance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be honored if the need arises, and it can also help avoid potential disputes or uncertainties among family members.


If your child has a developmental disability, Florida has created an abbreviated process to obtain a guardianship. If your child has turned or about to turn 18, you may need to become their guardian advocate to ensure your ability to make medical and other decisions for them.

This important step can provide you with the legal authority to act in their best interests and safeguard their well-being.


This document appoints someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. It can be limited to specific actions or broad in scope, depending on your needs.


A Guardianship might not be necessary if your requirements are already addressed by a Durable Power of Attorney.

1. My autistic child is turning 18. Do I need to become their guardian to make decisions for them?

  • Yes, once your child turns 18, they are legally considered an adult and can make decisions for themselves. However, if their disability prevents them from properly caring for themselves, you may need to establish a guardianship. Contact our office at 561-932-1686 to discuss your specific situation and whether a guardianship is necessary.

2. Who can be appointed as the guardian of an adult in Florida?

  • Under Florida Statute 744.309, any resident of the state of Florida who is legally competent and 18 years of age or older is qualified to act as a guardian. Family members residing outside of Florida may also be eligible.

3. What are the duties and responsibilities of a guardian for an adult?

  • The duties include exercising only the rights removed from the ward and delegated to the guardian, filing initial and annual guardianship reports, implementing the guardianship plan, protecting and preserving the ward's property, and performing other duties as required by law. At the end of the guardianship, the guardian must deliver the property to the lawful recipient.

4. What is a Standby Guardianship, and when is it necessary?

  • A standby guardian is empowered to assume guardianship duties in specific circumstances, such as the death, removal, or resignation of the current guardian. Standby guardianship can be important when planning for contingencies. Contact our office at 561-932-1686 to determine if it's necessary for your situation.

5. I am here illegally. What happens to my children if I am detained or deported?

  • In such a case, if there are no other family members available to care for your children, they may go into foster care. To prevent this, you may want to establish a standby guardianship to ensure someone is available to care for your children in your absence.

If you have more questions or need assistance with guardianship matters, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to provide guidance and help you make informed decisions to protect the well-being of your loved ones.

Guardianship F.A.Q.

Palm Beach County Courthouse Arch by Evan S. Kass





500 S Australian Ave

Suite 600

West Palm Beach, FL 33401

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