Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Office of Inspector General
3315 Tamiami Trail East, Ste. 316
Naples, FL 34112
Phone: (239) 252-8412
Email: Inspector General

Mailing Address
Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Office of Inspector General
3315 Tamiami Trail East, Ste. 102
Naples, FL 34112-5324

 

 

Typical Questions that the Guardianship Auditor asks:

  • “Do the totals add?” If any of the schedules are incorrect, then the Summary total will also be incorrect. Please verify your totals in each Schedule and on the Summary page.

 

  • “Was it timely filed?” It is the guardian’s duty to file an initial guardianship report and report annually thereafter. These reports have required due dates, based on the date the Letters of Guardianship were issued. The initial report, a.k.a. the Initial Verified Inventory, is due within 60 days of the date the Letters of Guardianship were issued. For Annual Accounting dates, please see the table below. The clerk is responsible for notifying the court when a report is not timely filed.

Annual Accounting and Plan Dates for Fiscal Year Report Period

Month Letters Signed Report Begin Date* Report End Date

Report Due Date

January February 1  January 31 May 1
February March 1 February 28 June 1
March April 1 March 31 July 1
April May 1 April 30 August 1
May June 1 May 31 September 1
June July 1 June 30 October 1
July August 1 July 31 November 1
August September 1 August 31 December 1
September October 1 September 30 January 1
October November 1 October 31 February 1
November December 1 November 31 March 1
December January 1 December 31 April 1

*  First Annual Report(s) will run from the signed date of the Letters of Guardianship to the Report End Date. See Florida Probate Rule 5.904 Appendix B (Florida Rules of Court Procedure – The Florida Bar) and Administrative Order 5.1 {ao 5_1.pdf (cjis20.org)}.

 

  • “Is the reporting period correct?” The initial report’s start date is the date the Letters of Guardianship were signed.  The table above shows Report Begin and End Dates based on the dates that the Letter of Guardianship were signed.  Note that the dates do not overlap.

 

  • “Was any property not included in the inventory, or was the description found to be inaccurate?”  If so, the auditor requires an Amended or Supplemental Inventory pursuant to Rule 5.620(b).   The assets on hand at the end of one reporting period should be the beginning value of the next report, so corrective reports may be needed.

 

  • Did the Initial Verified Inventory address the existence of a Safe-Deposit Box?” The guardian should indicate on the Initial Inventory whether the ward leases a safe-deposit box.  If there is a safe-deposit box, then there should be a safe-deposit box inventory filed with the verified inventory pursuant to Rule 5.620(d) and F.S. 744.365(4).  The auditor will verify that the safe deposit box inventory was performed in the presence of an employee of the institution where the box is located, and confirm that the safe-deposit box inventory was filed within 10 days after the box was opened.  Please note that “nothing may be removed from the ward’s safe-deposit box without specific court approval.”

 

  • “Was the filing fee paid?” The clerk is entitled to a statutory fee for conducting the audit, which is due at the time of filing on an Initial Inventory or Annual Accounting.  The audit fee is a sliding scale based on the end value of the property.   The Guardianship Auditor confirms receipt of appropriate payment or waiver of the audit fees.

 

  • “Was a bond obtained and maintained?” If the Judge orders the guardian of the property to post a bond pursuant to F.S. 744.351, the guardianship auditor verifies that the bond was obtained.  In subsequent annual accounting audits, the auditor will verify bond maintenance.

 

  • Was the most current statement(s) of all of cash assets from all institutions provided?” The auditor will verify that the guardian has attached the statement(s) to the Initial Verified Inventory/Annual Accounting pursuant to F.S. 744.365(3)/744.3678(2)(b).  The statements are used during the audit to confirm stated values and to confirm ownership of the accounts.

 

  • “Were funds spent on items that required court approval per F.S. 744.441?” Please review this statute regarding items which require court approval; some items are surprising, such as approval required for funds to pay reasonable funeral expenses.  If you were required to obtain court orders, please include a reference line as to the date and docket line number in the report, to assist auditor in verifying court approval.

 

  • “Were guardian and/or attorney fees and expenses paid with court approval per F.S. 744.108?” Only the court can determine if guardian or attorney fees and expenses are reasonable, therefore a court order is required.  Please include a reference line as to date and docket line number in the report to assist auditor in verifying court approval for the amount paid.

 

  • Was the guardian report signed by the guardian?” The auditor will verify that each report is signed by the guardian pursuant to Rule 5.610.  Typically, the report is signed by both the guardian and their attorney, and includes language pursuant to F.S. 744.104, “Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have read the foregoing, and the facts alleged are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.”

 

  • “Has a Notice of Completion of Education Requirement been filed?” The guardian is required to complete training within 4 months of appointment according to F.S. 744.3145.  Training includes the preparation of guardian reports and the legal duties and responsibilities of the guardians among other topics. 

 

  • “Did the court order funds to be placed in a restricted account pursuant to F.S. 69.031?” If so, the guardianship auditor will verify that the minor’s assets were placed in a restricted account pursuant to the Order, and that the financial institution completed an acceptance/receipt.

A Deputy Clerk is not authorized to give legal advice.  If you require legal advice, you should consult a licensed attorney.

 

 

 

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