Do I Have to File for Guardianship if My Child Received a Settlement or Death Benefits?

Tue, Sep 27, 2011

Guardianship, Probate

SmithLawFlorida law (Florida State Statutes 744.301(2)) states that a minor needs the protection of a guardianship when they are the recipient of certain amounts and types of money.  If your minor child receives funds that equal up to $15,000, the natural guardianship of a parent or parents is sufficient. No further official guardianship papers need to be filed. However, money given to a child that equals more than $15,000 from inheritance, life insurance, damage claims, or other various types of income will need an official guardianship. The guardian can still be a natural parent, but a legal guardianship must be created. However, a parent cannot be the guardian is if the money exceeds $50,000; this requires the appointment of a guardian ad litem.

The legal guardianship for this matter must be created with the help of attorneys (for each party) and the courts. The attorneys and guardian ad litem will be paid out of the money being protected by the guardianship. The courts will decide the proper guardian, who must pass certain requirements required of all guardians (like background and credit checks.) Some parents acting as guardians try to receive compensation for their time in running the guardianship, but this is usually not awarded unless the parent possesses specialized skills that relate to the case.

Once appointed, the guardian takes a vow that they will properly handle the money. They are not to use it for their own expenses or for general care of the ward that they would normally provide. The money must be used responsibly and follow guidelines set forth in an initial guardianship plan filed with the court. If the ward is 14 or older, their desires are integrated into the guardianship plan; wards who are under age 14 are not required to be consulted when the plan is being created.

The court will govern the guardianship as long as it is in place. The court requires approval of specified purchases. Certain expenses and actions will catch the eye of the courts, including purchasing homes or paying bills for the ward that are typically handled by a parent. The court will continue overseeing the guardianship until the money is exhausted or the arrangement  is officially dissolved. The law requires terminating paperwork to be filed in order for the guardianship to cease.

It is important to interview attorneys well when choosing one for your guardianship case. Make sure that the attorney will be able to devote the proper attention to your case and has handled guardianship cases before in the state of Florida. SmithLaw can handle all aspects of guardianship and routinely create arrangements that work well for both ward and guardian.

, , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.