Too many elders in Florida denied due process
|State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, has proposed legislation that she said would "put teeth" in Florida's current elder guardianship statute.|
Bills that would reform the system -- whose abuses were detailed in a Herald-Tribune series "The Kindness of Strangers: Inside Elder Guardianship in Florida" -- have been filed in both the House and Senate.
These reform efforts deserve the support of both lawmakers and the public in the upcoming legislative session.
House Bill 5, drafted by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, would "put teeth" in Florida's current guardianship statute, Passidomo told the Herald-Tribune's Barbara Peters Smith.
"We're putting in the standards that guardians need to live up to," the legislator said.
Senate Bill 318, filed by Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, would reduce the term of an emergency temporary guardian from 90 days to 60, and let a judge suspend an abusive guardianship by freezing a guardian's assets and imposing sanctions on guardians or their attorneys.
The two bills address some of the egregious abuses cited in the "Kindness of Strangers" series, written by Peters Smith.
As the series noted, Florida's guardianship statute "is considered one of the best in the world, but its practical application has been criticized by advocacy groups and elder law scholars as paternalistic, ruthless and even corrupt."
Full Article & Source:
Focus on guardianship reform