(1) A public guardian may serve as a guardian of a person adjudicated incapacitated under this chapter if there is no family member or friend, other person, bank, or corporation willing and qualified to serve as guardian.
(2) The public guardian shall be vested with all the powers and duties of a guardian under this chapter, except as otherwise provided by law.
(3) The public guardian shall primarily serve incapacitated persons who are of limited financial means, as defined by contract or rule of the Department of Elderly Affairs. The public guardian may serve incapacitated persons of greater financial means to the extent the Department of Elderly Affairs determines to be appropriate.
(4) The public guardian shall be authorized to employ sufficient staff to carry out the duties of his or her office.
(5) The public guardian may delegate to assistants and other members of his or her staff the powers and duties of the office of public guardian, except as otherwise limited by law. The public guardian shall retain ultimate responsibility for the discharge of his or her duties and responsibilities.
(6) The public guardian, when appointed guardian of an incapacitated person, shall seek a family member or friend, other person, bank, or corporation who is qualified and willing to serve as guardian. Upon determining that there is someone qualified and willing to serve as guardian, either the public guardian or the qualified person shall petition the court for appointment of a successor guardian.
(7) A public guardian shall not commit a ward to a mental health treatment facility, as defined in s. 394.455(32), without an involuntary placement proceeding as provided by law.
(8) When a person is appointed successor public guardian, he or she immediately succeeds to all rights, duties, responsibilities, and powers of the preceding public guardian.
(9) When the position of public guardian is vacant, subordinate personnel employed under subsection (4) shall continue to act as if the position of public guardian were filled.