Adult guardianship can be a contentious affair. When a person is unable to take care of his or her own affairs anymore, and this power is given to someone else, there can be understandable feelings of frustration and bitterness on the part of the ward. Further, family members may be suspicious of this new person's motives. This is why courts in Florida use full or plenary guardianship as a last resort, when all other less restrictive means of addressing the situation are unlikely to be successful.
Whether one is the personal representative of someone else's estate or is in the midst of preparing his or her own estate plan, one issue that will need to be dealt with is creditors. Given the realities of modern life and the economic situation many people find themselves in, few individuals are going to die with no debt in their names. So what happens when an estate is administered in probate and there are creditors who are owed money?
We touched previously in this space on talk that the Florida Legislature may consider a law giving people more control over who can access their online assets when they die or become incapacitated. That possibility has been given more concrete form in a bill introduced to the legislature by State Senator Dorothy Hukill. While the bill still must get through committee hearings before being presented to the entire chamber, it is a step forward in the process of clarifying how digital assets should be handled by personal representatives and guardians.
About a month ago, this blog discussed the issue of "living wills" in Florida. To review, a living will, also known as an advance health care directive, is a legal document that specifies a person's wishes with regard to the medical intervention techniques that he or she wants or does not want to be used if he or she becomes incapacitated. Often, along with the advance heath care directive is a health care proxy, which legally designates a person to make medical-related decisions for someone who is incapacitated.