State Rep. TC Clements introduced a plan to protect elderly and disabled adults who need a guardian or conservator to help manage their care or finances.
Clements, R-Temperance, authored House Bills 6252 and 6253, which would create a state certification for court-appointed professional guardians — who manage a legally incapacitated person’s residence, health care, education, and other needs — and professional conservators — who handle a person’s estate.
“Guardians and conservators help make key life decisions for seniors, adults with a disability, and other Michigan residents,” Clements said. “Professionals in these critical roles need to be qualified and committed to the well-being of the people they serve. With a certification process, we can better vet professional guardians and conservators to support and protect our vulnerable neighbors.”
To gain certification as a professional guardian or conservator, a person would apply to the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), with proof of successful completion of the National Certified Guardian exam and other educational requirements. LARA would perform a criminal background check and review the applicant’s eligibility.
Courts would be required to prioritize certified professionals when appointing a person’s guardian or conservator, after first considering certain family members and the preference of the individual in need of a guardian or conservator. The certification priority would only apply to future court appointments. Current guardians and conservators would not need to become certified to continue managing existing cases.
The bills were referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Clements: New plan would ensure vulnerable adults can rely on guardians