It can be hard to imagine a legal route for a person to take away another person's rights and property, but unfortunately, in some places, loopholes can allow bad actors to slip through. The guardianship system, designed to protect vulnerable, often elderly, adults, has been implicated in the exploitation of people in the past. Luckily, individuals in Florida can take steps to prevent inappropriate guardians from seizing their property through estate planning.
Some people choose to complete their estate planning documents by having more than just a will. A complete plan can include power of attorney designation and a health care directive. If these documents are in place, and the individuals carefully chosen, it is far less likely that a person will fall under the care of a malicious court-appointed guardian.
Not all court-appointed guardians mean ill, and the system was originally set into place to prevent people from slipping through the cracks. As news has emerged about the guardian scams, many locations have updated the laws and guardianship processes to make it safer for everyone. A good way to safeguard oneself is to ensure legal documents are in place while one is still in good health. This will make a person less vulnerable to criminals looking to exploit older persons with significant assets. A guardian will have control over the finances and medical decisions of a person.
floridaelderlaw.net/Estate-Planning.shtml">Estate planning can mean much more than a simple will. A complete plan will protect one's assets and one's future should he or she become incapacitated. In Florida, some individuals choose to use the aid of an experienced attorney for help with creating important legal documents.
Source: businessinsider.com, "There's a legal way for someone to take your home, your stuff, and your money - but everyone ignores the two documents that can help keep you safe", Aine Cain, Oct. 8, 2017