top of page

FILE YOUR OWN GUARDIAN ADVOCACY

EVERY JUDICIAL CIRCUIT (AND SOMETIMES DIFFERENT COUNTIES WITHIN THE CIRCUIT) HAS/HAVE THEIR OWN FORMS. (Or are supposed to, anyway.)

Many "Court-Provided" forms are somewhat complicated and are time consuming, which is why I've coded some additions using Adobe and imbedded javascript within Adobe. (makes them much easier to fill out!) They are self-populating fields.

Step One: Download this file and read it. I promise it is easy to understand and a very quick read. It's the three important pages from the 14th Judicial Circuit's Handbook.

Step Three: Sign, Notarize and file (everything BUT the reports, You don't file the Reports just yet.)

Step Four: Gather IEP's Medical, Psychological, or other reports demonstrating a developmental disability. Attach them to page 7, "Notice of filing Social/Medical History Documents."

Step Five: There are educational and background check requirements, but many Courts waive those if you are family and the ward is only receiving SSI. An Attorney is appointed by the Judge (paid for by county funds provided by the state) to represent your disabled child. That Attorney will have a communication with your child. A hearing will be set.

For the educational requirement, I recommend the 8th Judicial Circuit's program where they send you disks and a manual. Download the order form here: 8th Circuit Class.

Step Six: At the hearing, the Judge will sign "Letters of Guardianship/Advocacy," and an "Order Appointing" you as Guardian Advocate. (or Co-Guardian Advocate) If possible, the disabled child should attend the hearing. Many hearings are over teleconference.

Step Seven: You must file the "Initial Report" within sixty (60) Days. (Florida Statutes §744.361 and §744.363 it's not 393 but still applies) Link to report here.

Step Eight: You have to keep up with the Annual Report. I know this will seem complicated, but that's the date sheet provided.

From the 18th Judicial Circuit's Handbook: "The Annual Report must be filed within 90 days after the last day of the anniversary month that the letters of guardianship were signed, and the plan must cover the coming fiscal year, ending on the last day in such anniversary month."


"Example: Imagine that the month that you were appointed a guardian is July. Your annual guardianship plan would need be filed with the court no later than October 30 of each year. The annual report would cover the period of August 1, 20__ to July 31, 20__. Also remember that you need to include a physician report with the annual report which is dated within 90 days of the day that you file the annual report."

Each Circuit is supposed to have the forms and instructions available. Some are better than others. Some seem to be nonexistent. There needs to be uniformity. 

***The Supreme Court has some forms. See 5.905 and 5.906 Link here.

Snip20240225_6.png
Snip20240225_7.png
bottom of page