2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Powers of guardian upon court approval.
Powers of guardian upon court approval.
744.441 Powers of guardian upon court approval.—After obtaining approval of the court pursuant to a petition for authorization to act:
(1) A plenary guardian of the property, or a limited guardian of the property within the powers granted by the order appointing the guardian or an approved annual or amended guardianship report, may:
(a) Perform, compromise, or refuse performance of a ward’s contracts that continue as obligations of the estate, as he or she may determine under the circumstances.
(b) Execute, exercise, or release any powers as trustee, personal representative, custodian for minors, conservator, or donee of any power of appointment or other power that the ward might have lawfully exercised, consummated, or executed if not incapacitated, if the best interest of the ward requires such execution, exercise, or release.
(c) Make ordinary or extraordinary repairs or alterations in buildings or other structures; demolish any improvements; or raze existing, or erect new, party walls or buildings.
(d) Subdivide, develop, or dedicate land to public use; make or obtain the vacation of plats and adjust boundaries; adjust differences in valuation on exchange or partition by giving or receiving consideration; or dedicate easements to public use without consideration.
(e) Enter into a lease as lessor or lessee for any purpose, with or without option to purchase or renew, for a term within, or extending beyond, the period of guardianship.
(f) Enter into a lease or arrangement for exploration and removal of minerals or other natural resources or enter into a pooling or unitization agreement.
(g) Abandon property when, in the opinion of the guardian, it is valueless or is so encumbered or in such condition that it is of no benefit to the estate.
(h) Pay calls, assessments, and other sums chargeable or accruing against, or on account of, securities.
(i) Borrow money, with or without security, to be repaid from the property or otherwise and advance money for the protection of the estate.
(j) Effect a fair and reasonable compromise with any debtor or obligor or extend, renew, or in any manner modify the terms of any obligation owing to the estate.
(k) Prosecute or defend claims or proceedings in any jurisdiction for the protection of the estate and of the guardian in the performance of his or her duties. Before authorizing a guardian to bring an action described in s. 736.0207, the court shall first find that the action appears to be in the ward’s best interests during the ward’s probable lifetime. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that an action challenging the ward’s revocation of all or part of a trust is not in the ward’s best interests if the revocation relates solely to a devise. This paragraph does not preclude a challenge after the ward’s death. If the court denies a request that a guardian be authorized to bring an action described in s. 736.0207, the court shall review the continued need for a guardian and the extent of the need for delegation of the ward’s rights.
(l) Sell, mortgage, or lease any real or personal property of the estate, including homestead property, or any interest therein for cash or credit, or for part cash and part credit, and with or without security for unpaid balances.
(m) Continue any unincorporated business or venture in which the ward was engaged.
(n) Purchase the entire fee simple title to real estate in this state in which the guardian has no interest, but the purchase may be made only for a home for the ward, to protect the home of the ward or the ward’s interest, or as a home for the ward’s dependent family. If the ward is a married person and the home of the ward or of the dependent family of the ward is owned by the ward and spouse as an estate by the entirety and the home is sold pursuant to the authority of paragraph (l), the court may authorize the investment of any part or all of the proceeds from the sale toward the purchase of a fee simple title to real estate in this state for a home for the ward or the dependent family of the ward as an estate by the entirety owned by the ward and spouse. If the guardian is authorized to acquire title to real estate for the ward or dependent family of the ward as an estate by the entirety in accordance with the preceding provisions, the conveyance shall be in the name of the ward and spouse and shall be effective to create an estate by the entirety in the ward and spouse.
(o) Exercise any option contained in any policy of insurance payable to, or inuring to the benefit of, the ward.
(p) Pay reasonable funeral, interment, and grave marker expenses for the ward from the ward’s estate.
(q) Make gifts of the ward’s property to members of the ward’s family in estate and income tax planning procedures.
(r) When the ward’s will evinces an objective to obtain a United States estate tax charitable deduction by use of a split interest trust (as that term is defined in s. 736.1201), but the maximum charitable deduction otherwise allowable will not be achieved in whole or in part, execute a codicil on the ward’s behalf amending said will to obtain the maximum charitable deduction allowable without diminishing the aggregate value of the benefits of any beneficiary under such will.
(s) Create or amend revocable trusts or create irrevocable trusts of property of the ward’s estate which may extend beyond the disability or life of the ward in connection with estate, gift, income, or other tax planning or in connection with estate planning. The court shall retain oversight of the assets transferred to a trust, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
(t) Renounce or disclaim any interest by testate or intestate succession or by inter vivos transfer.
(u) Enter into contracts that are appropriate for, and in the best interest of, the ward.
(v) As to a minor ward, pay expenses of the ward’s support, health, maintenance, and education, if the ward’s parents, or either of them, are alive.
(2) A plenary guardian or a limited guardian of a ward may sign an order not to resuscitate as provided in s. 401.45(3). When a plenary guardian or a limited guardian of a ward seeks to obtain approval of the court to sign an order not to resuscitate, if required by exigent circumstances, the court must hold a preliminary hearing within 72 hours after the petition is filed, and:
(a) Rule on the relief requested immediately after the preliminary hearing; or
(b) Conduct an evidentiary hearing not later than 4 days after the preliminary hearing and rule on the relief requested immediately after the evidentiary hearing.
History.—s. 1, ch. 74-106; ss. 22, 26, ch. 75-222; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 77-328; s. 281, ch. 79-400; s. 4, ch. 80-203; s. 3, ch. 86-120; s. 2, ch. 87-317; s. 73, ch. 89-96; s. 52, ch. 90-271; s. 1100, ch. 97-102; s. 11, ch. 97-240; s. 5, ch. 2006-77; s. 20, ch. 2006-178; s. 46, ch. 2006-217; s. 12, ch. 2011-183; s. 4, ch. 2017-16; s. 6, ch. 2020-35.
Note.—Created from former ss. 744.501, 745.03(2) and (3), 745.20, 745.23.