A Guardian’s Responsibilities

When a guardianship is secured, a bevy of new responsibilities arise, which, if left ignored, will raise the ire of the Circuit Court and land both the Guardian and their attorney in front of an annoyed Judge. By keeping important dates calendared and filing required paperwork on time, attorneys can keep their guardianship cases running smoothly.

There are three main categories of compliance to be addressed:

  1. Guardianship Education Course;
  2. Initial Plan and Inventory;
  3. Annual Plan and Accounting.

First, a Guardian must take a guardianship education course immediately after their appointment. This course will inform the Guardian of their duties to the ward, responsibilities to the court, and proper use of guardianship assets. The course will also describe the relationship between the Guardian and the Attorney for the Ward.

Second, a Guardian, through their attorney (all Guardians must have representation under Florida Probate Rule 5.030), must file an Initial Inventory describing all assets of the Ward within 60 days of their appointment. If the Guardian is appointed over the Ward’s person (in addition to property), an Initial Plan must likewise be filed. An Initial Plan describes where the Ward will live, receive medical treatment, and for minors, go to school.

Finally, the Annual Accounting and Annual Plan are yearly updates on the Initial Inventory and Initial Plan.

Failure to timely meet the above stated requirements will result in an “Order to Show Cause” from the court, calling the Guardian and their attorney into court. Better to stay on the ball and proactively comply by calendaring these tasks out, giving your Guardians plenty of time to take classes and execute documents.

Because guardianship cases can be drawn out for more than a decade, these responsibilities may become burdensome on injury firms appointing Guardians for settlement purposes. Delegating guardianship cases to Florida Probate Law Group will lead to a more efficient practice. If you have questions about a Guardianship case, call us at 352-354-2654.