In Florida, guardianship is a legal process whereby a guardian is appointed to exercise the legal rights of a person who is incapacitated, or in cases when parents die or are incapacitated, for a minor child.
A guardian that is appointment by the Florida Circuit Court may be either an individual adult or an institution, such as the trust department of a bank. Any adult resident of Florida – or a close relative that lives out of state – may be appointed as a guardian.
A three-person panel appointed by the court, which usually includes two physicians, makes a determination of incapacity. At least one of the three panel members must have knowledge of the type of incapacity that is alleged in the petition. The panel submits a report to the court based on their examination, which much include a physical exam, a mental health exam and a functional assessment.