Jacksonville Guardianship Lawyer Kendal Schoepfer in our office prepared this Article which may help some prevent the need for a Florida Guardianship.
Florida Guardianship Court proceedings are currently in progress regarding the Florida Guardianship of the Second Man on the Moon, Buzz Aldrin, in Florida. The proceedings were filed by two of his three children, Andrew Aldrin and Janice Aldrin, back in May. His third child, James Michael, has remained out of the proceedings and has currently not taken a side. Andrew and Janice’s reasons for filing the guardianship of the second man on the moon is due to a claimed cognitive decline, claiming their father and the former astronaut is suffering from dementia, and Alzheimer’s which is causing paranoia, confusion, and making him susceptible to persuasion by others.
Buzz Aldrin, who is now 88 years old and who maintains he is still competent and able to make his own financial decisions, has fired back by filing his own lawsuit against his children claiming Andrew and Janice have stolen money from him and accused them of elder abuse and conspiracy. These claims are mostly surrounding their involvement in his company, Buzz Aldrin Ventures, where both Andrew and Janice hold high positions. Aldrin told Good Morning America that the day his children filed for guardianship over him was “the saddest thing that ever happened in my family” and that he “really felt that it really didn’t need to come to this.”
When someone’s capacity is questioned in a court proceeding in Florida, they must undergo three separate examinations by an examinating committee that appointed by the court. It is the examinating committee’s role to advise the Court whether or not someone is in need of having a guardian due to having a limited mental capacity. Aldrin has already undergone one mental evaluation by a doctor in May who concluded that Aldrin is, in fact, competent and can manage his own affairs. However, Aldrin must still undergo the court ordered examinations. If the examinating committee decides Aldrin does in fact need a guardian, the guardian might not be someone Aldrin wants or could even me a professional guardian.
One way to prevent one day being appointed a guardian is to make sure you have the proper advance directives in place; a Florida Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Healthcare Surrogate, and Designation of Pre Need Guardian. But even with the proper advance directives in place things may not always work out the way you planned. The people you think you can trust can change. As family dynamics change, you may be taken advantage of or find yourself in need of a guardianship. That is why it is so to make sure you keep these documents updated. As circumstances change it is important to make sure that you have selected someone you can trust.
None of us want the court to take away our rights. With proper estate planning and advanced directives, we can help prevent the need for a court appointed guardian. If one becomes necessary to protect ourselves, it is important to choose who you want, before the state decides for your. Hopefully your family will not have to deal with the situation as the Guardian of the Second Man on the Moon. Contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC today. Not only do we focus in initiating and defending guardianship proceedings, but we also help create Florida estate planning documents, including establishing complete advance directives.