Florida Minor Child Power of Attorney

Guardianship of minors is a Florida-based legal proceeding governed by Chapter 744, Florida Statutes. Guardianship is established to protect the rights and interests of minors whose parents died or were legally declared incompetent by the local court.

Minor children who need a guardian are called “wards.”

Parents or legal guardians who, due to mental disorder, physical trauma, etc., cannot understand the meaning of their actions or manage them, as well as manage their property, are recognized as incompetent at the judicial level.

Guardianship for Minor Children

To receive court permission on the opportunity of being a guardian legally, you must create an official form called Application for Appointment as Guardian Advocate.

In other cases, the parents of the minor (or one living parent) can submit the application to the local judicial clerk with the described property of their child or children and the specified guardian. This must be done in advance for the case of death or disability of the parents.

There are two important conditions for guardianship:

  1. One minor in need of guardianship can have only one guardian;
  2. One guardian can have only one ward, except when blood brothers and sisters are taken under guardianship together.

Who Can Be a Guardian?

Let us answer the question in a detailed way further in the article.

Ward's Guardianship

Guardians can only be appointed competent adult people who have not been deprived of parental rights and do not have a criminal record for an intentional crime against the life or health of citizens at the time of establishing guardianship.

The guardian of the ward can be:

  • Any Florida resident 18 years of age or older;
  • Any non-resident of Florida who is legally related to a ward (e.g., by blood, marriage, or legal adoption);
  • A charitable non-profit organization or competent religious community.

Close relatives have the preferential right to be the guardians of a minor resident over all other persons.

Regardless of the degree of kinship, each guardian must undergo special training aimed at developing their required qualities and responsibilities.

Ward's Property Guardianship

A property's guardian is appointed when a minor receives proceeds from a lawsuit or inheritance over the maximum amount permitted by state law ($15,000 in Florida). It can be either an existing guardian of the minor or an independently appointed trustee who will be solely responsible for the finances of the ward.

Such a trustee is called a custodian and can be appointed by a local court or be mentioned in the official Will.

The custodian may be:

  • Guardian of the ward;
  • Trust company;
  • Bank.

You can find more specific information about guardianship and its features in the official source for Part III, Probate Rules, Florida Rules of Court.

How to Fill Out an Application for Appointment as Guardian Advocate

Application for Appointment as Guardian form consists of 5 sheets, where you provide all of the personal information about the guardian. Remember that you need to include only valid and reliable information and be honest.

Here are the steps to build a good guardianship application:

Step 1. Indicate guardian’s personal info (Subjects 1-8)

 Indicate guardian’s personal details

Step 2. Specify if the guardian is already responsible for a ward and name them if applicable (Subject 9)

Specify if the guardian is already responsible for a ward

Step 3. Define if the guardian has physical, mental, or other difficulties and describe them (Subjects 10-11)

Describe the guardian’s disabilities

Step 4. Determine if the guardian has had judicial issues, convictions, legal punishments, etc. (Subjects 12-16).

Determine if the guardian has had judicial issues 1 Determine if the guardian has had judicial issues 2

Step 5. Describe the previous experience of a guardian and answer relevant questions honestly (Subjects 17-24)

Describe the previous experience of the guardian 1 Describe the previous experience of the guardian 2

Step 6. Tell about the educational background of a guardian (Subject 25)

Tell about the educational background of a guardian

Step 7. Note the employment history of a guardian (Subjects 26-27)

Note the employment history of a guardian 1 Note the employment history of a guardian 2

Step 8. State if a guardian has special educational qualifications and whether they finished required courses (Subject 28)

State if a guardian has special educational qualifications

Step 9. Let the guardian sign and date the form

Let the guardian sign and date the form

For information on legal guardianship in a particular county, please visit the official website of the Florida court system. There you will find form templates, as well as exact lists of documents required to submit an Application for Appointment as Guardian Advocate in your particular county.

If there is no link to your county provided, please, contact your local court to learn more about guardianship in your county.