What is a guardian?


A person or corporation that is appointed by court order to manage some or all of the affairs of an individual, which includes the rights that the court determines the individual is no longer capable of exercising after an incapacity hearing is held.

What rights are delegable to a guardian?

  • To manage property or to make gifts or dispose of property
  • To determine residence
  • To apply for benefits
  • To contract
  • To consent to medical or mental health treatment
  • To sue and defend lawsuits
  • To make decisions about social environment or other social aspects of life

Barry University guardianship programs serve adults ages 18 and over that have been declared incompetent by the court. Individuals could be declared incompetent for a variety reasons. Individuals served may have the following diagnosis: an intellectual disability, a mental health diagnosis, traumatic brain injury, and/or a variety of other medical conditions, that make the individual incapable of managing their affairs. Guardianship is considered when an individual does not have any advance directives that indicate what they would have wanted with regards to a power of attorney and/or health care surrogate.

Currently Barry University operates the Office of the Public Guardian and the Institute for Professional Guardianship and Elder Services. Both programs provide guardianship to adults who reside in Broward County.