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Florida Guardianship

Florida Guardianship

When an individual no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions on their own, and they do not have a power of attorney, a guardian will need to be appointed to make decisions on their behalf. 

Guardianship is a formal court proceeding and is initiated by filing a petition with the orphans court in the county where the incapacitated person resides. Florida recognizes both voluntary and involuntary guardianships.

  • A hearing will be held to establish:
  • Whether the individual lacks mental capacity to receive and evaluate information, and to make informed decisions;
  • If other alternatives to guardianship have been pursued;
  • Will the guardian be able to support the needs of the individual; and
  • Who will best serve the needs of the individual as guardian

This process can be time-consuming, and when compared to the alternative of having a power of attorney is very complicated and expensive. However, in certain circumstances, a guardianship may be the most appropriate course of action, or unavoidable, in order to preserve the safety and well-being of the incapacitated person.