Bill Targets Guardianship System Abuses

Jan 20, 2015

The Florida Legislature will have a chance to make it harder for elder guardians to disregard interests of the wards they’re supposed to protect, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. 

Marie Winkelman, 89, had her rights removed a year ago at the request of her stepson-in-law, and is bewildered by the idea that she no longer has access to her own finances.
Credit Thomas Bender / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, drafted a bill she says will “put teeth” into Florida’s adult guardianship statute. If passed, it would give clerks of court authority to refer cases for criminal prosecution, attempt to curb costly legal wrangling over attorneys’ and guardians’ fees, and spell out a guardian’s duty to honor their ward’s desires, according to the Herald-Tribune.