Termination of Adult Guardianship in Florida: What You Need to Know
A guardian is a surrogate decision-maker. As explained by the Florida Courts, an adult guardianship may be warranted if an individual (ward) is deemed impaired to the point that they are no longer able to manage their own affairs. Adult guardianships generally do not have a defined duration—meaning they could last for the remainder of a vulnerable adult’s life.
That being said, adult guardianships are not necessarily permanent. They can be altered (or terminated) when the circumstances warrant doing so. In this article, our Tampa guardianship lawyers explain the most important things you need to know about terminating an adult guardianship in Florida.
Ending an Adult Guardianship in Florida: The Three Most Common Scenarios
- Restoring the Ward’s Legal Capacity
A ward is the individual who was deemed incapable of making their own decisions by a Florida court. In some cases, the ward’s condition may improve to the point that some (or all) of their legal rights may be restored. As Florida strongly favors the least restrictive alternative, courts are willing to remove a guardianship if appropriate.
To restore a ward’s rights, a legal document called a ‘suggestion of capacity’ should be filed with the court. Once filed, a Florida court can appoint an independent medical professional to evaluate the mental and physical condition of the vulnerable person. Based on that assessment, it is possible that the guardianship will be removed or that some less restrictive alternative will be put in place instead.
- Moving to Another Jurisdiction (Leaving Florida)
Under Florida law, an individual who is subject to an adult guardianship cannot be moved to another state without approval from the court. If you are leaving the state of Florida, you will likely be required to get the guardianship transferred to the new jurisdiction. In doing so, the guardianship in Florida will be terminated. However, our state courts will not end a guardianship on these grounds without proof that a new guardianship is set to be implemented in another jurisdiction.
- Appointing a New Guardian
For a number of different reasons, a person may no longer be in a position to serve as a guardian. If an adult guardian wants to resign in Florida, they should submit their resignation to the court and file a petition for discharge. As a general matter, it is a best practice to select a new trusted guardian before resigning. Of course, every case is different and presents its own unique set of challenges. An experienced guardianship attorney can help you protect your rights and your vulnerable loved one.
Contact Our Tampa, FL Guardianship Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our Florida estate planning attorneys have extensive experience helping clients with guardianship issues. If you have questions about terminating an adult guardianship, we are here to help. To schedule your strictly private consultation, please contact us today. We handle adult guardianship cases throughout Hillsborough County, including in Brandon, Riverview, Keystone, Lutz, Ruskin, and Apollo Beach.