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  4. Probate
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  8. Guardianship

The Probate Department is located at the Juvenile Justice Center at 190 Eslinger Way, Sanford, FL 32773. If you have any questions, please call 407-665-4369.


A guardianship is a legal proceeding in the circuit court in which a guardian exercises the legal rights of an incapacitated person, minor, voluntary wards, or developmentally disabled individuals. Guardians make decisions and take actions regarding the well-being of the ward.

Guardianships may be established for various reasons:

  • Someone is declared incompetent or incapacitated
  • A minor who has inherited money or real property
  • A minor who is the recipient of a court settlement over $15,000
  • A minor who is living with someone other than a parent who will need to make decisions about schooling and health care

At the time of appointment, the court will determine the guardian’s powers to be limited or plenary to exercise some or all rights of the minor or incapacitated person.

Every guardian should become familiar with the powers and duties of a guardian reflected in Florida Statutes 744.361. A specific function of the guardian is to file initial and annual reports as outlined in Florida Statutes 744.362 and 744.367.

Report Guardianship Fraud

Do you suspect a guardian, family member, attorney or caregiver of financial mismanagement such as stealing money from a ward’s account, selling off a ward’s property or making suspicious loans or money transfers? Report it to the Guardianship Fraud Hotline.

Using the Guardianship Fraud Hotline, you can report suspected fraud, waste, abuse or financial mismanagement involving court-appointed guardians over elderly, minor children and incapacitated individuals.

Injunction for Protection: Vulnerable Adult

Who is a Vulnerable Adult?

A vulnerable adult is an adult with an impaired ability to perform normal activities of daily living or provide for their own care or protection.  It is also an adult who has an impairment due to a disability (mental, emotional, sensory, long-term physical or developmental), brain damage, or infirmities of aging.

What constitutes Exploitation?

  • A vulnerable adult deprived of their funds or property
  • A vulnerable adult with diminished capacity deprived of their funds or property
  • A vulnerable adult who has had a breach of fiduciary.
  • A vulnerable adult who has had a bank account misused.
  • A vulnerable adult who has had not had their necessities provided.

Who may file a Petition?

  • A vulnerable adult in imminent danger of being exploited.
  • The guardian of a vulnerable adult who is in imminent danger of being exploited.
  • A person or organization acting with the consent of the vulnerable adult, or his or her guardian.
  • A person who simultaneously files a petition for determination of incapacity and appointment of an emergency temporary guardian with respect to the vulnerable adult.

NOTE: If a guardianship is pending, the Petition must be filed in that case; otherwise, it must be filed in the circuit where the vulnerable adult resides.

Petitions may be filed Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm at the Clerk of the Court Probate Department located in the Juvenile Justice Center, 190 Eslinger Way, Sanford, FL 32773.

For further information, you may contact the Clerk’s Office at (407) 665-4328.


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