Florida Guardianship law: when the guardian sues the ward’s attorneys
In Florida, guardianship cases have exploded. Increasingly, more and more probate attorneys and trust and estate attorneys are dealing with guardianship matters. Will a court “take away” important civil and human rights of a person who is alleged to be incapacitated? Will a court appoint someone to manage the property of the person? Or is there a valid power of attorney, health care directive or surrogate, or revocable trust (living trust) to manage the person’s finances? If the alleged incapacitated person is deemed incapacitated, he or she is often referred to as the “ward.” In what appears, at first blush, to be a bit of an out-of-the-ordinary case, a PhD who was appointed guardian of a person actually sued the person’s long standing attorneys, alleging that the attorneys — instead of protecting the ward or the ward’s property — allowed the ward’s family members to exploit the ward and dispose of assets against her wishes. Financial exploitation by family members? Assistance by the ward’s attorney in that financial exploitation? In what seems like a twist, the ward’s attorney sought to avoid being deposed based upon medical conditions. The appellate court ruled that the attorney had to submit to a mental examination, but that the opposing counsel could not be present for the examination. For a copy of this very recent case, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Advocate hard. Litigate smart.