Some adults in Florida are simply incapable of taking care of themselves physically, financially and legally. In these cases, a guardian may be appointed to handle their affairs and ensure their safety and wellbeing. If no other options will suffice other than a guardian, a qualified, court-appointed adult within Florida may look after them. In addition, family members may be appointed, even if they do not live within the state.

Regardless of the relationship, the guardian must not have any felony on their record and must be able to handle the responsibilities associated with their title. One of the most important responsibilities is handling the finances and medical decisions for the incapacitated individual. This includes taking control of their property and using it in a way that will benefit them. In addition, guardians are in charge of finding proper living arrangements for the incapacitated.

There is oversight, however. Guardians must file a yearly report with the judge to make sure resources are not being mishandled and the needs of the incapacitated are being fully met. If the guardian does not carry out their duties proficiently, they may be replaced at the court’s discretion. Additionally, if the guardian finds themselves in a condition in which they can no longer care for the individual, that may also be grounds for replacement.

Being appointed guardian is a major responsibility and should therefore not be taken lightly. It may be prudent to not accept the title if you feel as though you cannot carry out the duties therein. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the position should consult an estate planning attorney.