Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a House Bill into law Tuesday June 2 nd 2015 that could change the landscape of how elder’s assets are dealt with in the state. House Bill 5 tightens many aspects of a current statute on guardianship that, until now, made it relatively easy for a state-appointed guarding to skip out on prescribed duties and seize the assets of the elder in many instances. Despite three bills regarding the tightening of guardianship statutes being drafted, this bill is the only one that came to fruition through the short Tallahassee session.
"It clarifies how and when guardians are appointed, better protects wishes and rights of wards and codifies the duties and responsibilities of court-appointed guardians. Legislators who sponsored and supported guardianship legislation during session deserve kudos." Said Zayne Smith, the associate director of advocacy for the state of Florida AARP.
This new law comes at a time when Zelman v. Zelman is underway, which could bear new precedent in matter of mentally ill people or people with age-related dementia or other memory and cognitive-inhibiting diseases maintaining their right to petition for divorce.