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Guardianships Can Be Tricky

Britney Spears, the iconic pop-star of the early 2000s, has recently been freed of her conservatorship. Although each state has its own individual laws regarding guardianship cases, the #FreeBritney movement has brought to light the world of guardianship law and cases.

In Florida, conservatorships are used when a loved one disappears or goes missing while in the Armed Forces or under other circumstances that may indicate the individual is deceased. The Californian conservatorship many have become familiar with through Britney Spears' legal battle is more similar to Florida's guardianship process. Guardians in Florida, like conservators in California, are individuals appointed by the courts to act on behalf of another person who has been deemed mentally incapacitated by the courts. Guardians are able to make financial, medical, and legal decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person, known as the Ward.

Although Florida may lack popstars with an unfortunate history of mental illness and poorly managed conservatorships, we have no shortage of elder abuse. Although in 2016, Florida attempted to revamp guardianship law by implementing additional requirements for state appointed guardians, cases of guardianship abuse have continued to rise.

Over the summer of 2021, a taskforce was formed by state clerks of court, judges, attorneys, guardians, and advocates known as the Guardianship Improvement Task Force. Inspired by the #FreeBritney movement, the task force has taken on Florida's legislature by creating a detailed report to show potential solutions to Florida's flawed guardianship program. The task force will be presenting the report, and its solutions, to state legislators when they meet in the upcoming 2022 legislative session.

This article is not intended to be legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.

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