Many people are not aware that complete estate planning does not begin and end with writing a will. Estate planning also often addresses other details, such as a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment and care. Without pre specifying how a persons wants to be taken care of, and by whom, the legal authority for making those decisions could be given to a complete stranger in the form of a court appointed guardian, who may not always have the best interests of those who are in their charge at heart.
According to reports, serious questions have been raised about the manner in which one professional guardian in Pinellas Park has been carrying out her legal responsibility to look after and care for the wards that she has been assigned by the state of Florida. A number of families who have had a loved one put in the care of the woman have questioned her practices, as well as the state’s oversight of the guardianship program.
One woman purportedly contends that the woman, who has legal guardianship over her grandmother, moved her out of her home into a nursing care facility. According to reports, the woman is unsure what prompted the state to appoint a guardian for her grandmother. She claims that her father had been living with and caring for her grandmother, his mother, when she was declared an incapacitated individual. She claims the court appointed guardian had her father evicted from the home and then sold it for less than half of its value.
Especially if a mental or medical condition may eventually leave you incapacitated, it may be of benefit to consult with an attorney to discuss an estate plan. A lawyer will explain your options and help you to create a plan that will fit your needs.
Source: ABC Action News, “Family members raise new questions about guardianship program in Florida,” Adam Walser, Nov. 3, 2013