Palm Beach Post Letter to the Editor

Britney Spears would fare better in Florida

We represent professional guardians in the Florida State Guardianship Association, and the case of Britney Spears has raised a fitting opportunity to explain what a voluntary guardianship means in the state of Florida. Voluntary guardianships in Florida are guardianships of property only. No rights of the person are delegated to the guardian, so that medical treatment, choosing a residence, choosing to work or socialize are all left to the discretion and decision-making of the individual.

What the person under guardianship relinquishes is the financial aspect. The professional guardian pays bills, manages debts and handles physical property like arranging for pest control or contracting renovations. Under voluntary guardianship, the person under guardianship must have capacity documented by his or her physician and fully understand that the guardian will serve as fiduciary. Both parties can back out at any time. If Ms. Spears’ guardianship was indeed voluntary, had it been a Florida matter, she could have left her guardianship freely.

Carlos McDonald, president, and Pam Wiener, board member, of the Florida State Guardianship Association

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