Understanding Guardianships In Florida – Part II

This article is a continuation of a previous posting, "Understanding Guardianships In Florida - Part I."

Once a guardian has been appointed, the guardian has to record the ward's assets and file an inventory with the court.  Many times the guardian also has to determine whether to file a lawsuit against someone who exploited the ward, when the he or she lacked capacity.  The guardian has to file a care plan for the ward and annual reports to the court. 

In Florida, guardians are required to be represented by an attorney.  Further, a guardian has many responsibilities imposed by Florida law.

The cost of a guardianship proceeding depends on the amount of time spent.  Generally, (i.e. this is not a binding quote), the cost of an uncontested guardianship proceeding is around $3,200.00, which includes the examining committee fees, and the cost of a guardianship proceeding with an emergency petition is around $5,000.00.  Realized that if the examining committee reports are contested or if someone contests whether there is a less restrictive alternative to guardianship or someone contests who the guardian should be, the costs can escalate significantly. 

Please note that if the ward has assets, and if the petitioner has "rendered services to the ward or to the guardian on the ward's behalf" then the petitioner or his or her attorney is entitled to a reasonable fee for the services rendered (i.e. if you pay to have a guardianship established and are successful, the court should award you your fees).  Obviously, this is no guarantee since a court could limit or reduce the fees awarded.    

Matthew Linde of Cody & Linde, PLLC has extensive experience representing clients with their guardianship cases. We can answer your questions and help you determine whether a guardian is necessary for your elderly family member. We can also assist you if someone has filed a guardianship petition regarding your loved one.  Call us today at (239) 939-7100.  We represent clients throughout Lee County, Charlotte County, Collier County, Henry County and Highlands County.