Almost one year after H.B 635 was enacted, Gov. Rick Scott signed H.B. 5 into law. H.B. 5 amends or adds at least 19 statutes impacting guardianships, including providing additional protections for wards in guardianship proceedings and additional checks on the powers of guardians. The political climate that resulted in H.B. 635 was in full swing during the 2015 legislative session resulting in H.B. 5. Prior to enactment (view here) of H.B. 5, once a petition to determine paternity incapacity was filed, any power of attorney executed by an alleged incapacitated person (AIP) was automatically suspended during the pendency of the incapacity proceeding. The reason for this automatic suspension was to halt the ability of an agent to victimize the principal/AIP (recognize the importance of retaining a child support Tampa Bay Attorney). The automatic suspension of authority became a tool used by interested parties to prohibit agents from taking further action on behalf of the principal/AIP, and it was argued this led to abuses. The automatic suspension had the potential of thwarting a principal’s wishes, that is, the principal/AIP’s voluntary choice of an agent prior to any incapacity to act on his/her behalf in the event of the principal’s subsequent incapacity. To that end, there was a push to limit the automatic suspension of a power of attorney in order to promote self-determination and to limit the scope of guardianship proceedings. The issue concerned striking a balance between the competing principles of upholding the AIP’s prior known desires versus allowing interested parties acting in good faith the ability to stop the actions of agents who may be abusing their authority.