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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

Ebony Wilkerson and why guardianships can be helpful

Ebony Wilkerson was put under mental evaluation for driving herself and three children into the ocean. Many of us watched the video of this which took place on Daytona Beach, Florida.

Wilkerson’s sister claimed Ebony had been talking about demons hours before the incident. The sister called the police who spoke to Ebony but found no reason to take the woman into custody under the Baker Act, which allows for the temporary detainment of people believed to be a danger to themselves or others.

Mental illness is a terrible thing. However, guardianship can help by putting a guardian in charge of the person, so that help can be given. The mentally ill individual would not be able to reject treatment or help approved by the guardian. 

Placing someone in custody under the Baker Act is only a temporary fix, and as this recent incident shows, it is not very effective.  If you have a loved one or relative who has mental issues, consider speaking with a lawyer who can explain the benefits of a guardianship. 

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