Struggles over be appointed guardian can be emotionally draining. For example, the circumstances of children of an elderly parent who no longer can take care of his or her self can sometimes end up pitting siblings against each other.
In the event a family member is not available, or there is an ongoing dispute between family members regarding a loved one's care, judges in Miami-Dade may appoint an outside party to serve as a person's guardian. While in some cases this can ensure an elderly or mentally ill person is receiving proper care, in some unfortunate situations, a court appointed guardian might take advantage of the very person they have a legal responsibility to look out for.
It can be a heart-wrenching decision to declare a loved one incapable of making financial and personal choices on his or her behalf. However, sometimes it’s necessary to appoint a guardian due to a family member’s incapacity. When parents or spouses age, they often are unable to take care of their estate on their own, and can be taken advantage of. Unfortunately, even attempts to take care of family members can be derailed by others who would like to handle the estate – or even by the estate owners themselves.
We all know about the events that led to Britney Spears’ hospitalization in 2008 and the subsequent loss of the custody of her sons. Her emotional issues prompted her father to file for conservatorship, which he still has, in order to prevent her from making any more bad decisions. In the years that followed, Britney seems to be doing well and getting the treatment she needs. It’s for this reason that conservatorships exist: to protect people who are affected by incapacity and unable to make decisions for their financial, mental or physical health.
Florida is a haven for millions of senior citizens who love our state's beauty and wonderful weather. Sadly, all too often aging comes with mental disorders and the inability to make decisions on one's own. If a senior citizen has the incapacity to make sound financial decisions on his or her own, it can be easy for scam artists to zero in. Florida residents have lost millions of dollars to foreign scammers who prey on vulnerable seniors.
It's common for aging parents or family members to sign a power of attorney agreement. These legal documents allow a trusted person (the "agent"), usually a close family member such as a child, grandchild, or sibling, to act upon the principal's behalf when the owner of the estate becomes incapacitated, most often due to age or illness. Unfortunately, there is great potential for powers of attorney to be abused. When an older person is facing incapacity, it's important to understand the risks and how to prevent financial abuse.
For many people in Florida, thinking about estate planning can cause mixed emotions. While planning for the disposition of one's estate after death is necessary, it can be uncomfortable to think about one's mortality. However, not all estate planning decisions will have an impact only after you should die.