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Estate and Elder Law

Florida Guardianship Checklist




1. Visit the ward - While this may seem obvious, it is important that they know you and their family are their for them.

2. Secure an attorney - Every Florida guardian needs an attorney. Find one who is willing to answer your questions and you can easily work with.

3. Attend incapacity hearing - This is an important hearing where the Florida probate court determines whether a guardianship is needed and the ward's level of capacity.

4. Once you are appointed a Florida guardian:

a. Attend the ward's immediate needs, appropriate housing, medical treatment if necessary, etc.

b. Investigate: gather the ward's assets and conduct a personal inventory

c. Secure a bond or designation of depository from the court

d. Obtain Letters of Guardianship

e. Set up depository account with standing order of withdrawal for standard and recurring expenses

f. Transfer title on accounts and set up guardianship accounts taking into proper consideration accounts showing evidence of prior estate planning

g. Notify sources of income of guardianship

h. Obtain appraiser if necessary to establish value of inventory

i. Obtain services of financial planner, if appropriate

j. Submit petition to court to perform acts requiring prior court approval

k. Submit to court required reports (Initial Guardianship Plan)

l. Visit the ward as needed based on the particular circumstances of the ward and minimum requirements

5. Stabilization of Ward

a. Determine if placement is appropriate (if they do not already live in a care or assisted living facililty

b. Gather assets - locate all financial accounts and assets

c. Apply, if necessary, for financial assistance benefits

d. Submit request for guardianship fees to court as required

e. Submit annual report

Allow me to assist you and your family members in Sarasota and Manatee County, Florida

View more information from Marc J. Soss at and

Marc Soss' practice focuses on estate and tax planning; probate and trust administration and litigation; guardianship law; and corporate law in Southwest Florida.  Marc is a frequent contributor to LISI and has published articles and been quoted in the Florida Bar, Rhode Island Bar, North Carolina Bar, Association of the United States Navy, Lawyers USA, Military.Com, Forbes.Com, and CNN Business. Marc also serves as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve.

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