REPORT FRAUD OR, WASTE FOR CASES INVOLVING GUARDIANSHIP CASES
A Guardianship is a legal arrangement under which a person (the guardian) has the legal right
and duty to care for another (the ward) and his or her property. A guardian must be represented by an attorney.
Types of guardianships:
A guardianship is established when a person is unable to legally act on his/her own behalf.
This may be due to *minority, (he or she is not of age),
or due to mental and/or physical *incapacity.
A competent adult may also petition the court to appoint a *voluntary
guardian for himself or herself. A developmentally disabled person may be eligible for a *Guardian Advocate to be appointed.
*Guardian Advocate: A developmentally disabled person may be eligible for a less restrictive type of guardianship, known as a guardian advocate. For more information about this, please click here.
A developmentally disabled person may be eligible for a *guardian advocate to be appointed.
*Minority: A guardianship must be established for the property of a minor child when an amount over $15,000 is to be paid to the minor. This may occur through an inheritance or through a settlement of a legal action. Guardianship of the person of a minor child may need to be established if both natural parents are deceased, incapacitated or unavailable. Guardianship is not the same as custody. For information on custody of a minor, please see Family Law Rules and Forms.
*Incapacity: A guardianship for an alleged incapacitated person can be initiated by filing
a “Petition to Determine Capacity” and a “Petition to Appoint Guardian” with the Clerk of the Circuit Court,
Probate Court Records department. (The proposed guardian must be represented by an attorney).
The alleged incapacitated person and next of kin will be served with a notice and a copy of the court
order appointing an examining committee and setting a hearing. An attorney will be appointed to represent
the alleged incapacitated at the hearing. Each member of the examining committee submits his/her report
to the court after examining the alleged incapacitated person. At the hearing, the court will make a
determination regarding the capacity of the alleged, and if necessary, appoint a guardian.
*Voluntary: A person may voluntarily petition the court for appointment of a guardian for
his/her property when, though mentally competent, he or she is incapable of the care, custody, and
management of his estate by reason of age or physical infirmity. A certificate of a licensed physician
is required, stating that he has examined the person and that the person is competent to understand the
nature of the guardianship and his delegation of authority.
A person 18 years of age or older who has an interest in the protection of
the personal or property rights of the incapacitated person may qualify to serve as
a court appointed guardian. A completed Application for Appointment of Guardian form must be submitted by the proposed guardian at the time a guardianship case is opened. The Court will review the application to ensure the guardian will best serve the needs of the ward.
Fingerprint and Background Check requirement for Guardians:
Effective April 1, 2012, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) will no longer accept or process hard copy guardian applicant fingerprint cards. Fingerprints are to be submitted electronically via a live scan device.
Locations providing this service can be found at: www.identogo.com/services/live-scan-fingerprinting. Select Florida for the state. Scroll down to "Enrollment Services" and click on "Digital Fingerprinting." Then click on "Schedule a New Appointment."
The applicant will need to select an Agency:
Non-Professional/Family guardian applicants should select "All Other."
Professional guardian applicants should select "Professional Guardians."
The applicant will need the Originating Agency Identification Number (ORI) in order to schedule an appointment.
Pinellas ORI # for Non-Professional/Family guardian applicants: FL052104Z
Pinellas ORI # for Professional guardian applicants: FL052103Z
The applicant should arrive at their appointment with any necessary paperwork and their photo ID. Please note: a photo ID is required before any applicant can be fingerprinted (acceptable forms of photo ID are either state or federally issued, i.e. driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID, or alien registration card with picture).
Once the applicant has been fingerprinted, the fingerprint technician will transmit the fingerprint records electronically to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). The fingerprint technician also issues a signed receipt for the fingerprinting service to the applicant. The applicant needs to keep this receipt for future reference.
FDLE processes the background check for the State of Florida. Florida Department of Law Enforcement forwards the fingerprint record to the FBI for federal background check processing. When the background check(s) is completed, the results are returned to the Clerk’s office.
Professional guardians must also submit an clerk’s fee of $7.50 per Florida Statute 744.3135 (1) annually, due by January 31st each year.
Initial fees required for credit and criminal background investigation checks:
Pinellas County Administrative Order No. 2009-36 PA/PI-CIR requires an initial investigative fee:
All guardians: $27.50
Responsibilities of the Guardian:
Guardianship Report forms required:
- A guardian of the property is required to file an
Initial Inventory of the ward’s assets within 60 days of his appointment. Subsequently, an annual accounting
of the assets will be required.
- A guardian of the person is required to file an
Initial Plan for the care of the ward within 60 days of his appointment. Subsequently, an annual plan is
required to provide information to the court about the health and physical well being of the ward.
Pinellas County Administrative Order No. 2009-36 PA/PI-CIR mandates the use of specific forms for the filing of these required reports.
The forms and a copy of the Administrative Order are available at
Audit of Guardianship reports:
The law assigns the responsibility for auditing the reports to The Clerk of the Circuit Court. The Court then
reviews the Clerk’s audit.
Audit fees are set by Florida Statute and based on the value of the ward’s estate. Refer to the
Schedule of Service Charges for current audit fees.
For more information about guardian duties and responsibilities:
More details are available on the Court’s website: www.jud6.org.
Filing fees required to open a new guardianship case:
Please refer to the
Schedule of Service Charges for current fees.
Information is available about the following areas of the Probate Division:
Where to file guardianship cases:
You may file guardianship paperwork at the following locations:
PROBATE COURT RECORDS
315 Court Street, Room 106
Clearwater, FL 33756
NORTH COUNTY BRANCH OFFICE
29582 U.S. 19 North
Clearwater, FL 33761
ST. PETERSBURG BRANCH OFFICE
545 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701