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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 744
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F.S. 744.361
744.361 Powers and duties of guardian.
(1) The guardian of an incapacitated person is a fiduciary and may exercise only those rights that have been removed from the ward and delegated to the guardian. The guardian of a minor shall exercise the powers of a plenary guardian.
(2) The guardian shall act within the scope of the authority granted by the court and as provided by law.
(3) The guardian shall act in good faith.
(4) A guardian may not act in a manner that is contrary to the ward’s best interests under the circumstances.
(5) A guardian who has special skills or expertise, or is appointed in reliance upon the guardian’s representation that the guardian has special skills or expertise, shall use those special skills or expertise when acting on behalf of the ward.
(6) The guardian shall file an initial guardianship report in accordance with s. 744.362.
(7) The guardian shall file a guardianship report annually in accordance with s. 744.367.
(8) The guardian of the person shall implement the guardianship plan.
(9) When two or more guardians have been appointed, the guardians shall consult with each other.
(10) A guardian who is given authority over any property of the ward shall:
(a) Protect and preserve the property and invest it prudently as provided in chapter 518, apply it as provided in s. 744.397, and keep clear, distinct, and accurate records of the administration of the ward’s property.
(b) Perform all other duties required of him or her by law.
(c) At the termination of the guardianship, deliver the property of the ward to the person lawfully entitled to it.
(11) The guardian shall observe the standards in dealing with the guardianship property that would be observed by a prudent person dealing with the property of another.
(12) The guardian, if authorized by the court, shall take possession of all of the ward’s property and of the rents, income, issues, and profits from it, whether accruing before or after the guardian’s appointment, and of the proceeds arising from the sale, lease, or mortgage of the property or of any part. All of the property and the rents, income, issues, and profits from it are assets in the hands of the guardian for the payment of debts, taxes, claims, charges, and expenses of the guardianship and for the care, support, maintenance, and education of the ward or the ward’s dependents, as provided for under the terms of the guardianship plan or by law.
(13) Recognizing that every individual has unique needs and abilities, a guardian who is given authority over a ward’s person shall, as appropriate under the circumstances:
(a) Consider the expressed desires of the ward as known by the guardian when making decisions that affect the ward.
(b) Allow the ward to maintain contact with family and friends unless the guardian believes that such contact may cause harm to the ward.
(c) Not restrict the physical liberty of the ward more than reasonably necessary to protect the ward or another person from serious physical injury, illness, or disease.
(d) Assist the ward in developing or regaining capacity, if medically possible.
(e) Notify the court if the guardian believes that the ward has regained capacity and that one or more of the rights that have been removed should be restored to the ward.
(f) To the extent applicable, make provision for the medical, mental, rehabilitative, or personal care services for the welfare of the ward.
(g) To the extent applicable, acquire a clear understanding of the risks and benefits of a recommended course of health care treatment before making a health care decision.
(h) Evaluate the ward’s medical and health care options, financial resources, and desires when making residential decisions that are best suited for the current needs of the ward.
(i) Advocate on behalf of the ward in institutional and other residential settings and regarding access to home and community-based services.
(j) When not inconsistent with the person’s goals, needs, and preferences, acquire an understanding of the available residential options and give priority to home and other community-based services and settings.
(14) A professional guardian must ensure that each of the guardian’s wards is personally visited by the guardian or one of the guardian’s professional staff at least once each calendar quarter. During the personal visit, the guardian or the guardian’s professional staff person shall assess:
(a) The ward’s physical appearance and condition.
(b) The appropriateness of the ward’s current living situation.
(c) The need for any additional services and the necessity for continuation of existing services, taking into consideration all aspects of social, psychological, educational, direct service, health, and personal care needs.
(d) The nature and extent of visitation and communication with the ward’s family and friends.

This subsection does not apply to a professional guardian who has been appointed only as guardian of the property.

History.s. 1, ch. 74-106; ss. 6, 26, ch. 75-222; s. 45, ch. 89-96; s. 29, ch. 90-271; s. 1084, ch. 97-102; s. 13, ch. 2006-178; s. 45, ch. 2006-217; s. 15, ch. 2015-83.
Note.Created from former ss. 744.48, 744.49.