Some people, whether it is due to age or disability, do not have the means to properly care for themselves. Sometimes, their families may decide that the best choice is to establish a guardianship for that person, to ensure that his or her best interests are protected. Though this is often the right decision for many people, professional guardianships here in Florida have recently come under fire. After one professional guardian was accused of misconduct, a state lawmaker decided to support legislation that would protect senior citizens.
Representative Colleen Burton says that she knew she had to act after the death of a man under professional guardianship. His guardian allegedly filed a “do not resuscitate” order and had his feeding tube removed without the proper permission from his family or authorities. The new law would require a guardian to obtain court approval to conduct this type of action in the future.
Local media claims that this problem is more widespread than just one guardian. Florida lawmakers are hopeful that if the new law passes, it will prevent any more tragedies of this nature. Thus far, there is bipartisan support for the bill. There is no word on how quickly this law would take effect, but Rep. Burton hopes that the process will enter the first steps before the end of the month.
Whether this new law passes or not, it highlights just how important it is for Florida families to ensure that their most vulnerable members are protected. A guardianship can be a blessing for both the person at the center of it and for his or her loved ones. Those who have questions regarding the process may want to consult an attorney with extensive experience in guardianships and estate planning.