Anyone in Florida who has faced the difficult situation of helping a loved one who has memory issues knows that the challenges are great. One of the challenges that can be faced is the need to identify a legal guardian. This can be required when an elderly person’s mental capacity becomes so impaired that they can be a danger to themselves or otherwise unable to manage their affairs.

Example problems include a senior who leaves a stove on when not monitored and a fire eventually starts. In some cases, a person can leave a house and get lost even if only blocks from home. Bills may not be paid properly, on time or at all. The chance to become financially exploited also increases as conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s take hold. With all of these things at risk, families understandably want the ability to take care of their loved ones.

A new bill being introduced into the state legislature, SB 232, would make obtaining a guardianship over an incapacitated or elderly adult somewhat easier than it has been in the past. The bill also creates a better way via which people can seek disciplinary actions against guardians when necessary. Complaints could be filed with the Florida Office of Public and Professional Guardians. The agency would then be responsible for investigating all claims against either public or private guardians.

While this bill is being supported by many groups that work with elders, some are calling for even greater reform. Whatever happens with this legislation, the concerns that families face will continue. Working with an attorney may be beneficial for people who need to establish adult guardianships in Florida.

Luis E. Barreto