2004 Florida Statutes
Property and personal affairs of residents.
(1)(a) A resident shall be given the option of using his or her own belongings, as space permits; choosing his or her roommate; and, whenever possible, unless the resident is adjudicated incompetent or incapacitated under state law, managing his or her own affairs.
(b) The admission of a resident to a facility and his or her presence therein shall not confer on the facility or its owner, administrator, employees, or representatives any authority to manage, use, or dispose of any property of the resident; nor shall such admission or presence confer on any of such persons any authority or responsibility for the personal affairs of the resident, except that which may be necessary for the safe management of the facility or for the safety of the resident.
(2) A facility, or an owner, administrator, employee, or representative thereof, may not act as the guardian, trustee, or conservator for any resident of the assisted living facility or any of such resident's property. An owner, administrator, or staff member, or representative thereof, may not act as a competent resident's payee for social security, veteran's, or railroad benefits without the consent of the resident. Any facility whose owner, administrator, or staff, or representative thereof, serves as representative payee for any resident of the facility shall file a surety bond with the agency in an amount equal to twice the average monthly aggregate income or personal funds due to residents, or expendable for their account, which are received by a facility. Any facility whose owner, administrator, or staff, or a representative thereof, is granted power of attorney for any resident of the facility shall file a surety bond with the agency for each resident for whom such power of attorney is granted. The surety bond shall be in an amount equal to twice the average monthly income of the resident, plus the value of any resident's property under the control of the attorney in fact. The bond shall be executed by the facility as principal and a licensed surety company. The bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful compliance of the facility with this section and shall run to the agency for the benefit of any resident who suffers a financial loss as a result of the misuse or misappropriation by a facility of funds held pursuant to this subsection. Any surety company that cancels or does not renew the bond of any licensee shall notify the agency in writing not less than 30 days in advance of such action, giving the reason for the cancellation or nonrenewal. Any facility owner, administrator, or staff, or representative thereof, who is granted power of attorney for any resident of the facility shall, on a monthly basis, be required to provide the resident a written statement of any transaction made on behalf of the resident pursuant to this subsection, and a copy of such statement given to the resident shall be retained in each resident's file and available for agency inspection.
(3) A facility, upon mutual consent with the resident, shall provide for the safekeeping in the facility of personal effects not in excess of $500 and funds of the resident not in excess of $200 cash, and shall keep complete and accurate records of all such funds and personal effects received. If a resident is absent from a facility for 24 hours or more, the facility may provide for the safekeeping of the resident's personal effects in excess of $500.
(4) Any funds or other property belonging to or due to a resident, or expendable for his or her account, which is received by a facility shall be trust funds which shall be kept separate from the funds and property of the facility and other residents or shall be specifically credited to such resident. Such trust funds shall be used or otherwise expended only for the account of the resident. At least once every 3 months, unless upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the facility shall furnish the resident and his or her guardian, trustee, or conservator, if any, a complete and verified statement of all funds and other property to which this subsection applies, detailing the amount and items received, together with their sources and disposition. In any event, the facility shall furnish such statement annually and upon the discharge or transfer of a resident. Any governmental agency or private charitable agency contributing funds or other property to the account of a resident shall also be entitled to receive such statement annually and upon the discharge or transfer of the resident.
(5) Any personal funds available to facility residents may be used by residents as they choose to obtain clothing, personal items, leisure activities, and other supplies and services for their personal use. A facility may not demand, require, or contract for payment of all or any part of the personal funds in satisfaction of the facility rate for supplies and services beyond that amount agreed to in writing and may not levy an additional charge to the individual or the account for any supplies or services that the facility has agreed by contract to provide as part of the standard monthly rate. Any service or supplies provided by the facility which are charged separately to the individual or the account may be provided only with the specific written consent of the individual, who shall be furnished in advance of the provision of the services or supplies with an itemized written statement to be attached to the contract setting forth the charges for the services or supplies.
(6)(a) In addition to any damages or civil penalties to which a person is subject, any person who:
1. Intentionally withholds a resident's personal funds, personal property, or personal needs allowance, or who demands, beneficially receives, or contracts for payment of all or any part of a resident's personal property or personal needs allowance in satisfaction of the facility rate for supplies and services; or
2. Borrows from or pledges any personal funds of a resident, other than the amount agreed to by written contract under s. 400.424,
commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083
(b) Any facility owner, administrator, or staff, or representative thereof, who is granted power of attorney for any resident of the facility and who misuses or misappropriates funds obtained through this power commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084
(7) In the event of the death of a resident, a licensee shall return all refunds, funds, and property held in trust to the resident's personal representative, if one has been appointed at the time the facility disburses such funds, and, if not, to the resident's spouse or adult next of kin named in a beneficiary designation form provided by the facility to the resident. If the resident has no spouse or adult next of kin or such person cannot be located, funds due the resident shall be placed in an interest-bearing account, and all property held in trust by the facility shall be safeguarded until such time as the funds and property are disbursed pursuant to the Florida Probate Code. Such funds shall be kept separate from the funds and property of the facility and other residents of the facility. If the funds of the deceased resident are not disbursed pursuant to the Florida Probate Code within 2 years after the resident's death, the funds shall be deposited in the Health Care Trust Fund administered by the agency.
(8) The department may by rule clarify terms and specify procedures and documentation necessary to administer the provisions of this section relating to the proper management of residents' funds and personal property and the execution of surety bonds.
History.--s. 12, ch. 75-233; ss. 12, 24, ch. 80-198; s. 2, ch. 81-152; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 19, ch. 82-148; ss. 54, 79, 83, ch. 83-181; s. 3, ch. 86-104; s. 12, ch. 87-371; s. 72, ch. 91-224; s. 18, ch. 91-263; ss. 22, 38, 39, ch. 93-216; s. 777, ch. 95-148; s. 3, ch. 98-148; s. 216, ch. 99-13.