White v. Guardianship of Lubin

White v. Guardianship of Lubin, 150 So.3d 1256 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014), 2014 WL 6497820

Under F.S. 744.108(1), a guardian is entitled to a reasonable fee for their services rendered on behalf of the ward.  A trial court deciding whether to grant fees has discretion, which "includes the ability to rely on common sense and experience to adjust the time claimed for common or routine tasks," and "the discretion to deduct time claimed by a guardian for noncore, delegable tasks that are better performed by others and to deduct excess time claimed due to the guardian's own inefficiency."   In re Guardianship of Shell, 978 So.2d 885, 889 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008).

Here, the trial court disallowed a professional guardian's fees for time she spent reviewing and paying invoices for the ward.  The Court reversed, holding that since it is part of the guardian's duties to examine, approve and pay the ward's bills, she must be paid for the work she was appointed to perform and is required by law to perform.  The Court noted that bill-paying duties are substantial, and should not be disregarded as "trivial busy-work."


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