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Florida Statutes on Guardianship of a Minor

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    Reasons for Guardianship

    • Minors in the state of Florida must be assigned a guardian when the natural parents are either deceased or incapacitated or when the minor inherits an amount of money greater than the amount allowed in Florida's state statutes. The guardian is subject to court scrutiny and observation during the time spent as a minor's guardian.

    Who May Become a Minor Guardian

    • A guardian in the state of Florida must be a resident of Florida over the age of 18 with no criminal background. A bank or credit union may serve as a guardian to a minor in legal matters, as long as the bank is not dealing with the minor's financial matters directly. A resident of another state may be appointed as guardian if the non-resident is related by blood or law to the minor. A non-profit or religious organization may also serve as guardian to the child.

    Who May Not Be a Guardian

    • Any person or organization providing professional or business services to the minor, such as a bank dealing with the minor's inheritance, may not become a guardian. Employees of any such government, corporation or entity may not become a guardian. A Florida state court may overturn this law if the court finds that the guardian relationship does not interfere with the business relationship. Anyone who provides direct or indirect health care to the minor is also excluded from guardianship. Finally, any person convicted of a felony by the state of Florida or by the federal government cannot become a guardian.

    Persons Involved in Guardianship Proceedings

    • The attorney for the petitioner asks the Florida court for guardianship of the minor. The attorney for the guardian advocates in the best interest of the minor. The court monitor reviews papers and requests to ensure everyone is adhering to Florida law. A guardian ad litem or an emergency temporary guardian may be assigned to watch over the minor's interests while guardianship is decided.

    Considerations for Guardianship Appointment

    • The state of Florida considers whether the person applying for guardianship is a blood relative, has background experience relevant to the child's unique situation, is capable of managing the minor's issues, and is able to meet the legal requirements of guardianship. A person has a higher chance of winning guardianship if he possesses some aspect of every point on the checklist.

    Applying to Become a Guardian

    • Florida courts require a person to submit an application for guardianship of a minor. The state then completes a credit check and a criminal background check on the individual. The person must also file a petition requesting guardianship of the specific minor. Once the petition is granted, the newly appointed guardian must swear an oath to execute his guardianship duties faithfully, submit a bond to the state and secure the finances of the minor with the state. The guardian must complete state-run courses in guardianship within four months of being appointed guardian.

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