Shannon Miller, ESQ, of Miller Elder Law Firm presented at the Florida House of Representatives Civil Judiciary Committee in Tallahassee on Jan 7, 2015. As the President of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, she participated in the subcommittee’s workshop to improve Florida’s guardianship law.
Chairwoman Kathleen Passidomo called the meeting to order with a review of Florida’s current law stating that although our law is very comprehensive, it is not working as effectively as it was intended. Her goal was to provide a forum for the public to state ways to solve the problem before an amendment is drafted.
Primary goals of the State are to:
- prevent abuse of the ward in the guardianship.
- punish the abuses.
- provide oversight to evaluate guardianships.
- provide guardians with adequate credentials.
- consistently enforce the law.
- minimize intrusiveness for the ward.
Ms. Miller discussed the need for guardianship laws with amendments to protect wards in situations of exploitation, both physical and property. “Although attorneys would rather avoid guardianships because they are costly and psychologically painful for the ward, we need emergency temporary guardianships to remove the ward from harm. We work hard to educate the public to complete advance directives and durable power of attorney documents to avoid guardianships” explains Miller.
Our district has a solid law regarding how guardianships are set up and monitored and Shannon Miller is working to create consistency in the law around the State of Florida.