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File #: 190089    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: IN COMMITTEE
File created: 2/7/2019 In control: Committee on Aging
On agenda: Final action: 2/7/2019
Title: Authorizing City Council's Committee on Aging to hold hearings on the potential for abuse in the guardianship appointment process and the financial burdens that such abuse could have on individuals being placed into guardianships.
Sponsors: Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Green
Attachments: 1. SignatureCopy19008900.pdf
Title
Authorizing City Council's Committee on Aging to hold hearings on the potential for abuse in the guardianship appointment process and the financial burdens that such abuse could have on individuals being placed into guardianships.
Body
WHEREAS, With age, some citizens of our population may be incapable of managing their personal or financial affairs. To protect these individuals, state laws provide for the court appointment of guardians, with the purpose of protecting the personal or financial welfare of an individual who has been deemed incapacitated; and

WHEREAS, The guardian of an incapacitated person may be a trusted family member or friend, but often times, it is a lawyer appointed by the court who is awarded fees that the incapacitated must pay; and

WHEREAS, Being appointed the guardian of an incapacitated individual comes with a substantial amount of power over that individual. A guardian can make decisions regarding the incapacitated person's finances or receive federal benefits on behalf of the individual; and

WHEREAS, While many guardians serve the best interests of the incapacitated people they are appointed to protect, others have taken advantage of these vulnerable individuals; and

WHEREAS, According to a report done by the Social Security Administration in 2014, approximately sixty percent of courts do not review the credit histories of potential guardians, and about forty percent do not conduct criminal background checks of potential guardians; and

WHEREAS, Another report, done by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2010, detailed the cases of 20 guardians who improperly stole or obtained $5.4 million in assets from 158 incapacitated victims, many of whom were seniors; and

WHEREAS, According to past national studies reported in The Court Manager, Volume 23 Issue 4, trusted family or friends assigned as guardians are often provided little or no guidance on the boundaries of their authority, which can lead to unintentional ...

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