Removing a Guardian in Florida
The guardian has a fiduciary duty towards the person under their care, whether they be an incapacitated parent or a minor whose biological parents are either deceased, incapacitated, or are unable to properly parent for the child. In this guardianship relationship, the individual whom the guardian takes responsibility for, is referred to as a “ward.” The guardian must act in the ward’s best interests, be fully committed to the guardianship, and act in good faith at all times.
However, there are times and instances when the guardian might start to violate his/her fiduciary duty, by being abusive or neglectful towards the ward, by misusing or wasting the ward’s assets or in some other way. So, what can you do to protect your loved one in such a case? Can you have the Guardian removed? If so, how do you end the guardianship under Florida law?
Grounds for Removing a Legal Guardian
You cannot simply have a guardian removed unless you establish good cause. Sufficient cause to remove the guardian is critical. For instance, if the guardian is in violation of his or her fiduciary duties, the law does provide recourse. In order to have the guardian removed, however, you must provide evidence that the ward is at risk due to the guardian’s behavior or that the guardian is taking advantage of the ward. Section 744.474 of the Florida Statutes lays out the various grounds under which removal of the guardian is warranted:
Even the guardian being convicted of a felony might be grounds to end the guardianship.
How to Remove Legal Guardianship in Florida Court
Once you have a legitimate reason for removing the guardian, you will need to file an official Petition to Remove the Guardian with the Court, to initiate removal proceedings in family court. It’s worth noting that Florida Probate Rule 5.660, allows the court to initiate such proceedings on its own. The Petition to Remove the guardian must affirmatively state the reasons as to why the guardian should be removed.
Apart from situations where a guardian is alleged to have acted contrary to their fiduciary duties, there are other ways guardianships can end In situations where an adult has been placed under a limited temporary guardianship due to “incapacity,” the relationship will come to an end when the ward has been “restored to capacity.” The court will need to be convinced that the ward has been “restored to capacity” and able to manage their own affairs. The guardianship of a minor, on the other hand, ends automatically when the child reaches the “age of majority” on their 18th birthday.
Call The Law Offices of Travis Walker
If you are seeking to file a Petition to Remove Guardian, then you will need experienced attorneys. The Law Offices of Travis Walker are guardianship attorneys in Stuart, Florida, and the preferred many in need of legal representation in family court. With over 125 years of combined experience in all facets of family and probate court, including guardianship matters. Call to schedule a consultation today! From our main offices in Stuart, we serve the entire Treasure Coast area Including, all of Palm Beach County, Martin County, all the way up to Tallahassee. We look forward to meeting you.
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