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What is a foreign guardian?

Guardianship is a legal matter that is determined by state law. The guardianship process takes place where the potential ward, or person needing a guardian, resides. The Court gives authority to the guardian over the person and/or property within that state.

If the Ward moves to Florida, pursuant to Florida Statute 744.306, the Guardian has 60 days to file the authenticated order of her or his appointment with the clerk of the court in the county where the Ward is living. To obtain the authenticated order, the Guardian needs to contact the clerk of court where the Order was entered. Be sure not to confuse this with a certified copy, an authenticated copy is not the same thing. A certified copy can be signed by a clerk of court, but an authenticated copy is a copy signed by a Judge. When the authenticated copy is accepted by the Florida County, the guardian and ward will now be under the authority of that county.

If a Ward in another state has property in Florida, does the authority of the Guardian apply to the property here? No, it doesn’t. But the Guardian can obtain authority over the property. Florida Statute 744.307 states the guardian can file a Petition of Foreign Guardian to Manage Property of Non-Resident Ward and an Oath. There is a county filing fee of $231.00 with that petition. When the case receives a file number, the petitioner is required to submit authenticated copies of the Order Appointing Guardianship, Letters of Guardianship, and the Bond, if any. The Florida county court may Court may require new bond in state of Florida.

When the documents have been filed, the petitioner shall submit an Order Authorizing the Foreign Guardian to Manage Property of Non-Resident Ward. The Guardian will now have authority over the property.

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