WHAT IS GUARDIANSHIP?
The process designed to protect and exercise the legal rights of individuals whose functional limitations prevent them from being able to make their own decisions when they have not made plans for this time in their lives.
A guardian that provides services for the incapacitated who have limited financial means and no willing family member or friend to serve as guardian. A public guardian must be designated as such by the Statewide Public Guardianship Office prior to the court appointing him or her to act as the guardian.
Statewide Public Guardianship Office is responsible for designating local offices of public guardian as well as the registration and education of professional guardians throughout Florida.
Any competent adult may file with the court a petition to determine another person's incapacity. Once the petition is filed, the court will then appoint an examining committee consisting of three members. The examining committee will conduct an evaluation and report back to the court. In addition, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the AIP.
The court will hold a hearing to review the reports of the examining committee. If the court finds the AIP to be incapacitated, the court must then determine if there is a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.
If the court determines the AIP is incapacitated and there are no less restrictive alternatives, then the court will appoint a guardian and issue letters of guardianship. Depending on the determination of the court, the AIP may require a guardian of the person, a guardian of the property or a guardian for both the person and the property.
The petitioner must be a competent adult who can attest as to why he or she believes the person may be incapacitated.
Once the Petition for Incapacity is filed with the court, the court, within five days, will appoint an attorney to represent the AIP and an examining committee to conduct an evaluation. The examining committee will complete their evaluations and submit their reports back to the court within 15 days. The court will then set a hearing to be held within 14 days after receiving the reports from the examining committee. The reports filed by the examining committee should include a diagnosis, prognosis and a recommended course of treatment.
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ONE PERSON CARING ABOUT ANOTHER REPRESENTS LIFE'S GREATEST VALUE.
PUBLIC GUARDIANSHIP PROGRAM OF INDIAN RIVER COUNTY
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) OR www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE." FLORIDA REGISTRATION CH53312