How much does the guardianship process cost?
Upfront petition costs:
Ongoing yearly costs:
- Lawyers may charge $2,500 or more to guide you through the guardianship process
- The clerk of court charges additional filing fees for the petition process. These fees generally run $400 or more. However, you can fill out a request with the clerk to waive this fee if you qualify.
- Turning 18 does not charge any fees for our service to refer you to a lawyer that can help
Ongoing yearly costs:
- Lawyers charge $300 or more annually to help put together the required yearly reports
- You also have the option to put together the yearly guardianship reports yourself, and just have a lawyer review and file them with the court
How long does a guardianship case take
A guardianship 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 Guardianship?
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 guardianship, it can be used as part of the guardianship option. SDM can help an adult with developmental disabilities learn how to make decisions. Florida’s guardianship law requires people under guardianship to be as independent as possible, including having their preference as to place and standard of living honored. Florida law also requires guardians 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 these legal requirements. Though the guardian would still have the final say, SDM can be a great way to keep the person under guardianship involved and practicing decision making skills. It can also be useful in terminating the guardianship, when appropriate. Guardians 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.