In Florida, what can a parent as natural guardian do without court approval?

Parents of a minor child can act as natural guardians of their minor child and can act in certain limited ways without court involvement. 

Section 744.301, Fla. Stat. provides that when the amounts received, in the aggregate, do not exceed $15,000, no court approval is needed and natural guardians are authorized, on behalf of any of their minor children, to:

(a) Settle and consummate a settlement of any claim or cause of action accruing to any of their minor children for damages to the person or property of any of said minor children;

(b) Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of the proceeds of any such settlement;

(c) Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of any real or personal property distributed from an estate or trust;

(d) Collect, receive, manage, and dispose of and make elections regarding the proceeds from a life insurance policy or annuity contract payable to, or otherwise accruing to the benefit of, the child; and

(e) Collect, receive, manage, dispose of, and make elections regarding the proceeds of any benefit plan as defined by s. 710.102, of which the minor is a beneficiary, participant, or owner.

When the amounts involved exceed $15,000, then court approval must be obtained. In that instance, representation by legal counsel is needed.

 

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