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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 744
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F.S. 744.312
744.312 Considerations in appointment of guardian.
(1) If the person designated is qualified to serve pursuant to s. 744.309, the court shall appoint any standby guardian or preneed guardian, unless the court determines that appointing such person is contrary to the best interests of the ward.
(2) If a guardian cannot be appointed under subsection (1), the court may appoint any person who is fit and proper and qualified to act as guardian, whether related to the ward or not. The court shall give preference to the appointment of a person who:
(a) Is related by blood or marriage to the ward;
(b) Has educational, professional, or business experience relevant to the nature of the services sought to be provided;
(c) Has the capacity to manage the financial resources involved; or
(d) Has the ability to meet the requirements of the law and the unique needs of the individual case.
(3) The court shall also:
(a) Consider the wishes expressed by an incapacitated person as to who shall be appointed guardian.
(b) Consider the preference of a minor who is age 14 or over as to who should be appointed guardian.
(c) Consider any person designated as guardian in any will in which the ward is a beneficiary.
(d) Consider the wishes of the ward’s next of kin, when the ward cannot express a preference.
(e) Inquire into and consider potential disqualifications under s. 744.309 and potential conflicts of interest under s. 744.446.
(4) Except when a standby guardian or a preneed guardian is appointed by the court:
(a) In each case when a court appoints a professional guardian and does not use a rotation system for such appointment, the court must make specific findings of fact stating why the person was selected as guardian in the particular matter involved. The findings must reference each of the factors listed in subsections (2) and (3).
(b) An emergency temporary guardian who is a professional guardian may not be appointed as the permanent guardian of a ward unless one of the next of kin of the alleged incapacitated person or the ward requests that the professional guardian be appointed as permanent guardian. The court may waive the limitations of this paragraph if the special requirements of the guardianship demand that the court appoint a guardian because he or she has special talent or specific prior experience. The court must make specific findings of fact that justify waiving the limitations of this paragraph.
(5) The court may not give preference to the appointment of a person under subsection (2) based solely on the fact that such person was appointed by the court to serve as an emergency temporary guardian.
History.s. 1, ch. 74-106; s. 12, ch. 75-222; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 5, ch. 79-221; s. 27, ch. 89-96; s. 15, ch. 90-271; s. 9, ch. 2015-83; s. 1, ch. 2020-35.
Note.Created from former s. 744.35.