Task force recommends changes to improve oversight, accountability in Florida guardianship system

ORLANDO, Fla. — A statewide task force has made new recommendations aimed at stopping alleged abuse across Florida’s guardianship system.

Guardianships are meant for people who a court decides can’t take care of themselves, but for years, there have been growing complaints of conflicts of interest from families and advocates.

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The Guardianship Improvement Task Force, sponsored by Florida’s clerks of courts and comptrollers, gave judges, attorneys, families and advocates a seat at the table.

The task force found little oversight or regulation, allowing for predatory attorneys to flood the system.

READ: ‘They take away everything’: Orlando man’s rights restored after 7 years under legal guardianship

The goal of the task force’s recommendations is to create long-term safeguards and accountability.

Among its recommendations:

  • A statewide data collection system, one for cases and another that publicly tracks a guardian’s record.
  • A recommendation that judges should give preference to advance directives and support guardianship alternatives.

READ: Issues with case management found in audit of Orange County’s court guardianship program

The task force now wants to see lawmakers create a permanent task force to take over and monitor the players in the guardianship system.

READ: AG: 9 urns found in office of ex-guardian accused of filing DNR order without consent

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