Living out-of-state does not negate your eligibility to become a guardian of a person who resides in Florida. However, you must qualify in numerous other aspects as well, and it must be determined that the ward is in need of guardianship. This process is begun by the court, who will appoint three people as members of a committee to examine the potential ward once you file a Petition to Determine Incapacity. This committee is comprised of a psychiatrist or physician, and two qualifying medical professionals. Each must evaluate the patient and advise the court as to the patient's capacity through a written account. One physician must be an expert in the type of ailment that incapacitates the patient, but it is important that this person is not the attending physician of the patient.
The Petition to Determine Incapacity is only one of three petitions you will need to file at the start of this process. The other two are a petition asking that the court appoints a guardian, or a Petition for Appointment of Guardian, and a request that you are appointed as the guardian, otherwise known as an Application for Appointment as Guardian.
If you are not a resident of Florida and meet the minimum age requirement of being more than 18 years old, you may file as a guardian as long as you are not a felon and are a direct relative or married to, a direct relative of the person in question. Adopted offspring qualify as well.
Obtaining appointment as a guardian is a complex legal process, which can be made much simpler with the assistance of a Florida family law attorney knowledgeable in estate planning and guardianship.