The final gatekeeper in the Guardianship system is the judge. However, court-appointed guardians are given great power. Professional guardianship has been called a “growth business” in Florida, with the number increasing from 12 registered professional guardians in 2003 to 456 in 2015, according to the state’s Department of Elder Affairs. The Florida State Guardianship Association describes guardianship as “a process designed to protect and exercise the legal rights of individuals whose functional limitations prevent them from being able to make their own decisions. It is the most restrictive type of decision-making assistance.”
Articles on Elder Dignity
Richard Cordray, Director of Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, called elder financial exploitation the “crime of the 21st century.” Approximately 36.9% of seniors are affected by financial abuse in a given five-year period. According to The True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015, $36.48 billion a year is lost by victims of elder financial abuse — more than twelve times what was previously reported. $6.7 billion is stolen through Trust Abuse, when friends, family, or paid helpers take advantage.