|Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice|
Currently, guardians are required to file annual financial reports, which can be audited by clerks of court. But the amount of oversight varies from one county to the next. There is rarely any additional monitoring of adult wards' welfare once the guardianship is in place.
And no formal avenue exists for wards or their families to complain about unsatisfactory guardianships.
But a bill filed by state Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, would establish an Office of Public and Professional Guardians to certify and supervise the court-appointed guardians.
Detert's bill (SB1226) came as a surprise to some critics and defenders of the guardianship system. It follows two other reform bills making their way through committees in advance of the 2015 state legislative session, which begins Tuesday.
Problems with Florida's guardianship system were the basis of a series published in December by the Herald-Tribune, “The Kindness of Strangers: Inside Florida's Elder Guardianship System.” Case studies told the stories of wards and their families who felt trapped in a legal process they did not understand.
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Detert files bill to reform elder guardianship system