Florida adults who are unable to care for themselves or competently make decisions on their own are often placed under the care of adult guardianship or conservatorship. Such arrangements are designed with the best interest of the disabled parties involved. Unfortunately, abuse is a very real problem in the realm of guardianship. Furthering the problem, the structure of guardianship within the legal system presents a number of challenges.
Lack of data
There is very little statistical information gathered on guardianship. This is due in large part to a lack of available data. To date, there is no national or uniform tracking system regarding how many adults are under guardianship or conservatorship. With this lack of tracking, it is very difficult to determine what percentage of guardianship roles are used inappropriately.
Lack of resources
A guardianship is often a long-lasting, if not lifetime, arrangement. Once established, the legal capabilities of the adult under guardianship are, to some degree, restricted. While this is often meant to protect the rights of said adult, not all guardians use their rights responsibly. Reporting to the courts by the guardian is meant to deter such individuals from acting in a negative manner. However, many courts have limited resources. Short staffing and low funding make it difficult for many courts to monitor guardianships as they should.
New legislation, little training
Updating legislation is crucial in protecting the sanctity of guardianships and conservatorship. While there have been great strides in this area, little has been done to train judges in dealing with guardianships. This lack of training and education places a greater burden on those who are meant to execute the laws on hand.
Guardianships are excellent when handled correctly
While guardianships help thousands of individuals who need assistance, there are some challenges. When considering a guardianship for your loved one, make sure to be aware of the possible challenges ahead.