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Create DateDecember 4, 2018
Last UpdatedDecember 4, 2018

Guardians are entrusted with significant power over individuals who rely on their support. A guardian’s authority can range from deciding where an individual will live and when to seek medical care to choosing if family members are allowed to visit and how to spend retirement savings. Most guardians are selfless, dedicated individuals who play an important role in safeguarding vulnerable individuals. However, recent reports of guardianship abuse highlight cases where guardians have abandoned their duty of doing what is in the best interest of the individual in their care. Unscrupulous guardians acting with little oversight have used
guardianship proceedings to obtain control of vulnerable individuals and have then used that control to liquidate assets and savings for their own personal benefit. Earlier this year, a professional guardian and her colleagues in Nevada were indicted on more than 200 felony counts after they allegedly used the guardianship process to take advantage of and financially exploit over 150 individuals. In another case, two individuals from North Carolina lost hundreds of thousands of dollars through exploitation by a family member who served as their guardian. These examples are important reminders that guardianship must only be imposed when necessary and that all guardianships must be subject to regular and substantive oversight.

Ensuring Trust: Strengthening State Efforts to Overhaul the Guardianship Process and Protect Older AmericansDownload 

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