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What reports do I file as a guardian of an adult in Florida?

In Florida, any competent adult can petition a court to determine a person's capacity or lack thereof. Once the court has heard the report of the panel appointed to examine a person, the court may declare that individual incapacitated. Next, the court will appoint a guardian to take over some or all of the decision making required for the ward. So, if you have been appointed a guardian for an incapacitated loved one, what does the court require you to submit?

First, it will depend on to what sort of guardianship you have been appointed. There are three basic types of adult guardianship in Florida: guardianship of the person, guardianship of the property and guardianship of the person and the property.

A guardian of the person is required to file what is known as an "initial plan." This report must be filed within 60 days of becoming the guardian and should include a statement of the provisions made for the care of the individual's medical psychological and personal needs, as well as what residential situation is the best for the ward. This report should be based on the findings of the panel the court appointed to originally examine the person for incapacity. Then, each year, the guardian of the person will fill an annual plan, which discloses the ward's location, condition and any changes expected, as well as a medical report from a doctor regarding the individual's capacity and any rehabilitative steps to be taken.

A guardian of the property must file an initial inventory within 60 days of appointment. This report will contain a listing of all assets owned by the ward, and where they are located. Then, each year, the guardian of the property must file an annual accounting report which will detail disbursements made from the ward's property and year-end statements from any financial institutions that hold the ward's assets. Of course, a guardian of the person and the property will be required to file all of the above reports.

Remember that Florida law requires the guardian to be represented by an attorney. This person will be an invaluable resource for questions regarding the sometimes complicated world of adult guardianship.

Source: Elderaffairs.state.fl.us, "Guardianship Basics," accessed on Nov. 11, 2014

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