Task Force Initiatives

Task Force Initiatives

Below, you will see a sampling of issues that the Task Force work on monthly. To be updated on a regular basis, please consider contributing to the Task Force. You may contribute online by clicking here or click here to download a printable Contribution Form.

Receiving this information in a more timely manner is just one benefit you can receive as a Task Force contributor. Thank you very much in advance

** Meetings occur weekly on Thursday mornings from 8am to 9am.

November 2019

1.  ELS Legislative Committee Co-Chair and AFELA Past President Shannon Miller has organized and will launch the inaugural STOPPING FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION: FLORIDA ON THE FOREFRONT event in Gainesville on Friday, November 15, 2019, which will include keynote speaker David Brancaccio, broadcast journalist and author; Sen. Kathleen Passidomo on legislation to protect seniors in Florida; Spreng, Levin, and Ebner on The Brain Science study; U.S. Sen. Rick Scott on the vetoed e-wills bill vs. the new FL e-wills law; our very own Victoria Heuler and Twyla Sketchley on a distinguished panel discussion on criminal and civil exploitation cases; and more.

2.  Mary Wakeman, B.C.S. of Heuler-Wakeman Law Group, will be participating in oral argument before the 5th DCA on December 10, 2019, as counsel for AFELA in an Amicus Curiae role in J.N. vs. Department of Children and Families (Case No. 5D18-3084), supporting DCF’s position that a Medicaid applicant’s conversion of cash into a security offered by Coastal Income Properties-Zachary Taylor, LLC, should result in imposition of a penalty against applicant’s eligibility for Medicaid benefits.  Thank you again, Mary, for your generous contribution of time, effort, talent, and resources, to the Task Force and the common cause in this pro bono representation.

3.  Sen. Kathleen Passidomo and Rep. Colleen Burton are fine-tuning a bill to file for the 2020 legislative guardianship reform effort to Chapter 744, based generally on (a) court required approval of Guardian’s execution of DNRO for Ward, unless previously authorized for the ward, (b) disclosure of any third-party compensation to the guardian, (c) disclosure of conflicts of interest for guardian, and (d) prohibiting professional guardians from petitioning for their own appointment. Travis Finchum has been very active in the small group of ELS and RPPTL attorneys participating behind the scenes to help provide legal technical guidance in this effort.  As a set up to the coming legislative emphasis, Secretary Prudom, DOEA, Clerk Peacock of Okaloosa County, and Dep. Inspector General Palmeri from the Palm Beach County Clerk’s Office, provided an educational overview to the Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee next week re current Florida guardianship law, regulation, and oversight of guardians.


4.  ELS Estate Planning Committee is now reviewing Florida’s proposed adoption of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (HB 349, Ausley; SB 580, Bracy).  This is on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for 11/12/2019.  The Decedent’s Property Bill (HB 505, Driskell; SB 358, Berman), has been modified by the Senate Judiciary Committee to clarify that service by formal notice does not subject the recipient to personal jurisdiction, as requested by ELS. ELS Chair-Elect Steve Hitchcock and his subcommittee continue to be concerned with the potential narrowing of benefits under the Developmental Disabilities Bill (HB 361, Hattersley; SB 532, Cruz), which has been referred to Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee; Appropriations Committee; Health and Human Services Committee in the House.  The Banker’s Bill has been refiled (HB 397, Clemons; SB 380, Baxley), and ELS has the same concerns as last session re creating an unnecessary and unwarranted alternative to Court supervised Summary Administration, potentially to the detriment of creditors with valid claims and uninformed heirs.  The Senate bill has been referred to Insurance and Banking Subcommittee; Civil Justice Subcommittee; Commerce Committee.  The ALF Bill (SB 402) has been revised by the Senate Health Policy Committee to add back the one (1) business day preliminary notification requirement of an adverse incident.  This bill is now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

5.  Co-Chairs John Clardy and Heidi Brown and the ELS Medicaid Committee are meeting to more fully respond to and address concerns with reported ACCESS computer software issues and improper NOCA denials.  State Rep. Fetterhoff’s interest in this review has been engaged by Scott Selis of Flagler County, and the committee will be in further communication with Rep. Fetterhoff.  Stay tuned for updates.