Legal guardianships come in many forms. In some situations, a guardian obtains powers to perform specific roles on behalf of a ward. However, in situations where a court has determined that a ward needs help to care for their basic needs and protect their property, the court may grant a person this power as a plenary guardian.
A Florida plenary guardianship in Coral Gables means that the guardian has total legal right and power to act on behalf of the needs of their ward. Importantly, these guardians are still overseen by the court and have an obligation to act only in the best interests of their wards. Talking with a skilled guardianship attorney can help you better understand the intention of plenary guardianships, how these arrangements are made, and how to protect the interests and safety of wards.
Florida Plenary Guardianships at a Glance
A person who obtains guardianship powers over another has the right to act on the ward’s behalf. However, even with this general concept in mind, not all guardianships are the same. When a court decides to address the needs of a prospective ward, it must determine that ward’s ability to care for their property and well-being. As a result, a court may issue a limited guardianship that allows a guardian to act in specific ways concerning the needs of a ward that do not deprive the ward of all rights.
At the same time, Florida courts have the power to grant a plenary guardianship in Coral Gables. According to the definition provided in Florida Statute § 744.102, a plenary guardian has the ability to exercise all legal rights and powers in place of the ward, which means that a plenary guardian may:
- Buy and sell property;
- Pay bills;
- Obtain housing;
- Pursue legal action;
- Pay taxes and apply for government benefits.
In summation, a plenary guardian has nearly complete control over the life of their ward, which comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility.
Legal Questions Concerning Plenary Guardianships
Because plenary guardians have such a profound impact on the lives of their wards, courts will only create these orders if they are convinced that this arrangement is totally necessary. Fla. Stat. § 744.102 describes an incapacitated person as one who is unable to meet their essential health and safety requirements. A person applying for guardianship powers has the burden of proving this concept to the court.
Fla. Stat. §744.3201 provides the legal framework for obtaining guardianship powers. In short, the person seeking guardianship powers must demonstrate to the court that the arrangement is necessary for the protection of the ward. After receiving this application, the court will appoint an examining committee to determine the current status of the potential ward.
Finally, the actions of plenary guardians are always subject to judicial review in Coral Gables (Miami-Dade County) and all across Florida. Guardians must provide regular status reports to the court, and any interested third-party may request that a court review the actions of guardians and potentially terminate the plenary guardianship if they believe it to be necessary.
Ask an Attorney for More Information About Plenary Guardianships in Coral Gables Today
Obtaining a plenary guardianship means that you have total control over the life of your ward, including the ability to transfer property, obtain housing, pay bills, and exercise the legal rights on their behalf. However, with this power comes heavy responsibility. Under state law, guardians must only act in the best interests of their wards.
A lawyer can help you if you are considering applying for plenary guardianship powers in Coral Gables or elsewhere in Florida. They could explain what these powers mean, how the courts determine if a plenary guardianship is necessary, and provide guidance about your duties if you receive these powers. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.