Renzension: Authorizations for care and guardianship

Johannes Fiala, Peter Stenger (eds.): Authorisations in the case of care and guardianship
Johannes Fiala, Peter Stenger (eds.): Genehmigungen bei Betreuung und Vormundschaft.
A guide with numerous case studies. Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft (Cologne) 2005. 152 pages. ISBN 3-89817-279-1. 19.90 EUR. with CD-ROM.
The editors and other authors
Johannes Fiala is a lawyer, banker and business economist (M.B.A.) practicing in Munich. Peter Stenger creates financial concepts and financial planning in his own company in Unterhaching and advises on the administration of wards and estates. The two editors have published several times in the past on topics related to caregiving. Further editors of the book: Christoph Braun, Dipl. Social pedagogue, Munich; Andreas Müller, lawyer, Zorneching; Elvira Schulz, lawyer, Munich.
Concept and characterization
Publications on the subject of legal approval regulations for guardianships and conservatorships have so far tended to be among the lesser-noted issues. Wrongly so – as one can see even after a cursory perusal of the book. The contributions of the book deal with a very complex problem area which must interest not only professional guardians and custodians but in particular also the voluntarily active guardians and custodians and coworkers of nursing facilities and hospitals. The authors have set themselves the goal of providing a comprehensible reference work for rapid orientation in practice. The result of this intention must therefore be measured by whether the target groups mentioned are comprehensively and understandably informed after reading the book in order to be able to work constructively with courts and authorities.
Structure and content
The main part of the book centers on the very multifaceted issues of statutory authorization provisions in the areas of personal care and property care. A systematic presentation of the fundamentals of guardianship law and the reservation of consent precedes the main sections to facilitate access to the core topics of the book. An introduction to the basics of guardianship and legal guardianship is certainly part of the expected standard. Not at all to be taken for granted, however, is the additional very important information included in this section about the alternatives of legal care and the description of the advantages and disadvantages of one or the other decision. The main part then begins with a systematics of the approval reservation, the exemptions on application and the design of the approval. This first section is followed by an overview – in alphabetical order – of legal transactions requiring approval. The final sections deal with questions relating to possible refusals of authorisation, as well as explanations of the procedure and the rules governing appeals against orders of the court. After the preparation of the legal bases of the approval reservation the following chapters deal with the representation of the legal practice for the two core areas of the person – and property care. In the first section on the care of the person, particularly sensitive approval situations, such as accommodation or measures similar to accommodation, are dealt with in great detail, in a multi-layered manner and with great attention to detail. The overviews of the possible alternatives in the case of restraints, accommodation or measures similar to accommodation are informative. At the end of the chapter, the reader is offered written templates for applying for permission in a wide variety of measures for their own use. In the second and concluding chapter of the main section, further important decisions on property custody are presented and discussed. It is precisely in this field of licensing that there is a risk of losing income and assets in the event of negligent and improper action. In this and a multitude of other decision areas, various case constellations – from real estate transactions to the termination of a rental apartment – are presented in clear systematics and person-centered solution approaches are discussed. A CD-Rom enclosed with the volume contains all the sample applications from the areas of personal and property custody for downloading. They are not intended to be “compulsory templates”, but to facilitate and support correspondence with authorities and courts.
Assessment and conclusion
The strength of the book is the recognizable practicality and case-related usability of the detailed, comprehensive, and technically sound presentations on the subject of judicial approvals. The chapters of the book are almost always written in a fluent and understandable way to make the content accessible to lay people. Another positive aspect is the authors’ apparent intention to promote the careful and thorough preparation and consideration of decisions that affect people’s autonomy. A small typographical error (page 26: instead of – currently there is no legal power of representation for relatives – it reads – currently there is …) can be corrected in the new edition. The book is worth buying. In any case, it should be accessible to all guardians and caregivers.
Reviewer Dr. Peter Michael Hoffmann Social scientist, social worker, lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf

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About the author

Dr. Johannes Fiala Dr. Johannes Fiala

Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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