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State attempts to correct problems wtih guardianships

Families who must wrestle with how to care for elderly parents in Florida know that there is often no easy solution when it comes to figuring out how to care for them and keep them safe. Some elderly people don't even have relatives to help provide care or oversight into their affairs. Guardianships of elders has been a challenging and sometimes controversial topic not just in the sunshine state but around the country.

A pilot program designed to provide better protection for elderly people with legal guardians has recently been announced. The program will be a joint effort between the state and the County of Palm Beach. The Secretary of Florida's Elder Affairs division and the Clerk for Palm Beach County released information about the new pilot at a meeting of the Florida State Guardianship Association.

Among the many elements included in the pilot will be the development of a hotline. It is here that concerned persons may provide information or file complaints about abuse or other issues relating to professional guardians' actions or lack thereof. Investigations will be conducted into the complaints in an effort to ensure that guardians act in the best interest of the wards over whom they have control.

An official program run by the state may be one positive step toward keeping elderly people safe. It may also be helpful for elderly persons themselves, their family members or others to speak with an attorney when concerns about guardianships arise.

Source: NBC Miami, "New Program to Root Out Fraud in Florida's Guardianship System," McNelly Torres and Tony Pipitone, July 22, 2016

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