Sen. Dieters of Fla. and Doug Franks speak at Fla. legislature

https://www.flsenate.gov/Media/Videoplayer?EventID=2443575804_2016011151

Sen. Dieters State of Florida. To further regulate guardianships

Start at 11 min in.

Sen. Dieters State of Florida. To further regulate guardianships

Start at 11 min in.

New bill. There are abuses in the guardian system. If you are poor, we appoint a guardian for you and they help you. If you are wealthy in your own home, you may be accosted by professional guardian in your own home. You can’t imagine the complete power over an elder a professional guardian has. In Naples, etc. the wealthy areas, these professional guardians can bleed a person dry. Once you get a guardian, they are in charge of everything, they can drug you, they can charge $85 per hour to open your mail, make a doctors appointment, etc. They manage medical care and drug the elder into submission. The guardian uses the estate money to pay for a lawyer out of the estate to respond to any challenge from a ward. Once they run through your liquid assets, they will sell your home and be put in a nursing home and the guardian still gets paid from the estate.

We created a structure where private and public guardians may be regulated. The office can investigate complaints, register, discipline and remove licenses. The bill requires the investigator to report to the court. Courts may only appoint a professional guardian regulated by the agency. If the agency finds that a ward was exploited or abused, it will be reported to the court and to DFS for prosecution. It will establish a central abuse hotline. Palm Beach prosecutors have recaptured over $4 million and a few people were put in jail.

Hotbeds of abuses include Naples, Palm Beach, Sarasota–all the wealthy communities,

The cost of the bill will be $800,000. There will be 6 full time positions. They amended the bill for a lower cost.

Question: provision to protect seniors from mistreatment by family members. Answer, this is covered in the bill too.

This often comes down to family feuds. These problems often occur after a intra family problem. Family members are covered because sometimes they are the abuser.

A good friend of mine is a GAL. He brought to me 2 separate instances where husbands were stealing the ss check of wife and using it for himself. The bill does not cover husband and wife.

It has come to my attention that public guardians sometimes represent 100 people and how can that be good for the ward. I have a bill to limit it to 50, but I still believe that one person can do 50 guardianships at one time. Some people say it’s a company, but I don’t agree with that either.

I’m glad you’re concerned about the issue. She does believe that sometimes agencies that are large can handle a lot of people. And some people don’t need a lot of supervision yet, they just need someone to check in periodically to make sure they are okay. Maybe weekly, maybe monthly.

AARP is there, Doug Franks is there with Ernestine Franks. He is next. 22 min into video.

My mother is Ernestine and is 94 yo. She is in Pensacola Florida. This is from Pensacola and from Maine to San Diego. There has to have something done. My mother spends $1,000 per day to stay in her home. I will see my mother on Sat and Sunday for $600. Plus the person supervising will take notes and the lawyers will review them and make more money. There was a recent WSJ article. What they did on 11-16-15, they hand picked a replacement. A guardian and trustee that was the same. This is a predatory guardianship. Think about a child predator, the elder predator is not different. They are the same. An abomination. This is a great start. We need a Nancy Dieter statute in Florida. I am proud to be next to her now. She is a self made womana nd very impressive. We need some type of language. Rules of Civil Proceeding, this one line will prevent predator guardians. This will stop these lawyers from terrorizing family members. I have 25 books to hand out on Free Ernestine. I can get more. I also have the last transcripts from the last hearing. All the evidence, a 3rd party stranger was given preference. We have some bad people. With the social media and TV the terrors are starting to be exposed. My dad served in the military for his wife to suffer thru this. She doesn’t understand why she can only see me once per month for a few hours, she doesn’t understand what is going on.

Sen. Hayes has a question. I was the person who was appointed in her advance directives. My brother thought a non family member would be best. My mother went to a clinic for a neurologist who said she had capacity. Advance directives are ignored, the statements of a MD neurologist were ignored. My brother had made a huge mistake. These people worship greed and that is not acceptable. There will be no one marching over a bridge in Selma for these people. We can’t see my mom–3 boys, except 7 times per year. Last time I spoke out in the FL state legislator, they took retaliatory action and increased her chemical restraints (zoloft) dramatically. My brother has even greater restriction, he can’t even call my mother now. I can call her.

My mom should be allowed to be free. She does not deserve this.

The chair asked if there was an appeal of all of this. Dieters and Franks replied “no.”

Description: Senate Committee Meeting held at 10:45 AM on 1/14/2016

Dieters: People think they have a will, a trust, a living trust and all the right paperwork and they are protected, but they are not. Florida should have the strongest laws in the nation to protect the elderly.

 

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