• Lauren A. Merritt, P.A.

Can You Appoint a Standby Guardian Advocate?

Updated: Oct 6

Yes, the Petitioner(s) in a Guardian Advocacy proceeding for an adult with a developmental disability can request the court to appoint a Standby Guardian Advocate.

A Standby Guardian Advocate is a person who will assume the Guardian Advocate’s duties and powers regarding the person with the developmental disability when the Guardian Advocate is no longer able to serve in that role.


The Standby Guardian Advocate will assume the Guardian Advocate’s duties immediately upon the Guardian Advocate’s death, removal, resignation, or adjudication of incapacity.


Within 20 days after the assumption of duties, the Standby Guardian Advocate must petition the court for confirmation of the appointment.


When the Standby Guardian Advocate petitions the court for confirmation, the process will be much like the process the Guardian Advocate went through for appointment. The petition must state the reasons why appointment of the proposed Guardian Advocate should be confirmed and must provide personal information, such as residence and mailing addresses and the relationship to the person with a developmental disability.

The Standby Guardian Advocate must file an oath stating he or she will faithfully perform the duties of Guardian Advocate and designating a resident agent for service of process.

The Standby Guardian Advocate will request a hearing with the court regarding the petition for confirmation. The petition and the notice of hearing must be served on the person with a developmental disability.

After the court holds the hearing and the petition is approved, the Standby Guardian Advocate (now, Guardian Advocate) will be required to submit to the same criminal history investigation, credit check, and guardian education requirements of a Guardian Advocate, unless those requirements are waived by the court.

You can use the Standby Guardian Advocate designation as a planning tool for protecting the disabled person in your life. You can name the Standby Guardian Advocate in your original Petition for Appointment of Guardian Advocate or you can add a Standby Guardian Advocate at a later date by filing a separate petition.

Designating a Standby Guardian Advocate tells the court who you trust to assume the role of Guardian Advocate if the time comes when you are not able to serve.


To learn more about Guardian Advocacy, CLICK to download our free GUARDIAN ADVOCACY REPORT: How to Support Your Special Needs Child Without Losing the Right to Make Medical, Educational, Financial, or Legal Decisions.


If you have questions about Guardian Advocacy, give me a call at (850) 741-2999 or email me at lauren@laurenmerrittlaw.com.


Lauren A. Merritt, P.A.

111 S. De Villiers Street, Ste. B

Pensacola, FL 32502

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©2019 by Lauren A. Merritt, P.A.