If the Florida probate courts appoint a guardian to oversee someone’s affairs, that adult likely struggled to manage things on their own. Perhaps they have failed to attend medical appointments or missed mortgage payments. The courts felt that there was enough proof of their struggles to name someone else to take over their legal and financial obligations.
Sometimes a family member is the person who serves as a guardian. Other times, a professional affiliated with the nursing home or similar facility might be the one to ask for a guardianship. Although you would assume that your loved one’s life would improve when a guardian manages their affairs, that is not always the case.
Guardians could embezzle from the person who depends on them or make the profit of the facility that employs them the focus of their major decisions. When can your family challenge and remove a guardian appointed by the Florida probate courts?
When they abuse their authority
Guardians have a fiduciary duty to the person in their care. They should put that vulnerable individual’s needs ahead of any personal preferences, including a desire for profit and income.
Especially in cases where someone has misappropriated resources from the older adults dependent on their support or where their loyalties align with a business rather than the person they should support, concerned family members could potentially ask the courts to remove the guardian and replace them with someone else.
When they fail in their responsibilities
A guardian should manage somebody’s finances and ensure that they receive appropriate medical care. When a guardian mismanages resources or fails to get someone the daily support or medical treatment they require, other concerned individuals can step up and point out those failings. The probate courts may remove a guardian who has failed to provide for someone’s basic needs or to address concerning issues, like an obvious but as-of-yet untreated medical condition.
When your family has reason to worry about a guardian’s intentions or the effect of their job performance on your loved one, you can theoretically go to court in the hopes of removing that guardian from the role they have failed to fulfill or abuse. Learning more about the Florida rules for guardianship can help you be a better advocate for a vulnerable family member.