Guardianship of vulnerable individuals is sometimes necessary, but it is important that the ward’s rights are upheld and that the guardian executes their duties in an appropriate manner. Earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into a law a bill that expands protections for wards, provides for oversight of guardians and affects reporting requirements.
House Bill 709/Senate Bill 994
Under the new law, if a guardian wants to sign a “do not resuscitate order” on behalf of a ward, they must obtain permission from the court. In addition, the new law requires that guardians provide detailed information on payments made on behalf of the ward in mandatory reports. The law also restricts guardians from petitioning the court to be appointed as a guardian unless they are a relative of the ward.
New law protects seniors
These changes in the law protect seniors from being taken advantage of by guardians. The law was changed following a controversial case in which a guardian signed a “do not resuscitate order” against the wishes of the ward’s family and advice of the ward’s doctor, ultimately leading to the ward’s death.
Guardianship is a legal process
Making the decision to appoint a guardian over a vulnerable loved one is not an easy decision. We want to ensure that our loved ones who can no longer care for their own needs are being taken care of by those who have their best interests in mind. Those in the Tampa area who are in a position in which a loved one needs a guardian may want to first discuss their situation with an attorney, to ensure your loved one’s rights are protected.