How much does the guardian advocate process cost?
Upfront petition costs:
Ongoing yearly costs:
- Most lawyers charge $2,500 or more to guide you through the guardian advocate process. However, if you are planning to self-file an "of the person" petition only, then you can save these up front lawyer costs.
- The county clerk of court charges filing fees for the petition process. These fees are generally $250 or more. If you are completing automated paperwork through the Turning 18 website and can't afford the filing fee, we can help you apply for a filing fee waiver.
- There are no fees for using the Turning 18 website
Ongoing yearly costs:
- Lawyers charge $300 or more annually to help put together the required yearly guardian advocate plan document
- You also have the option to put together the yearly guardian advocate plan document by yourself to avoid these ongoing costs
How long does a guardian advocate case take?
A guardian advocate case will take 45 days to complete at a minimum. If it is contested, it can take even longer.
Can I use Supported Decision-Making As Part of Guardian Advocacy?
Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is a tool that allows adults with developmental disabilities to make decisions with the support of people they trust. Though it is often considered an alternative to guardian advocacy, it can be used as part of the guardian advocacy option. SDM can help an adult with developmental disabilities learn how to make decisions. Florida law requires guardian advocates to state in the annual plan what they are doing to help the person in their care enhance their capacity. SDM is a great way to comply with this legal requirement. Though the guardian advocate would still have the final say, SDM can be a great way to keep the person under guardian advocacy involved and practicing decision making skills. It can also be useful in terminating the guardian advocacy, when appropriate. Guardian advocates who want to use SDM should understand that their relationship with the person under their care may have to change. The goal in SDM is to provide the decision-maker with more freedom, the opportunity to try new things, and to learn from their mistakes.