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Any adult resident of Florida can serve as a guardian, as can a close relative of the person who does not live in Florida. Persons who have been convicted of a felony or who are incapable of carrying out the duties of a guardian cannot be appointed.
A guardian of the property must inventory the property, invest it prudently, use it for the person's support, and account for it by filing detailed annual reports with the court. In addition, the guardian must obtain court approval for certain financial transactions. A guardian of the person may exercise those rights that have been removed from the person and delegated to the guardian, such as providing medical, mental, and personal care services and determining the place and kind of residential setting best suited for the person. The guardian must present to the court annually a detailed plan for the person's care.
Every guardian shall be represented by an attorney admitted to practice in Florida. A guardian advocate is not required to be represented by an attorney unless otherwise required by law or the court. Guardians are usually required to furnish a bond and may be required to complete a court-approved training program. The Clerk of Court reviews all annual reports of guardians of the person and property, and presents them to the court for approval. The court may remove a guardian who does not properly carry out his or her responsibilities.
Both parents or a surviving parent may make and file with the Clerk of Court a written declaration naming a guardian of the child's person or property to serve if both parents die or become incapacitated. A guardian may also be designated in a will in which the child is a beneficiary.