Saturday, January 5, 2013

Nebraska Supreme Court Appoints Permanent Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships, co-chaired by Douglas County Court Judge Susan Bazis and Nebraska Court of Appeals Judge Francie Riedmann

Friday, December 21, 2012
 
The aging of the baby boomer generation is expected to cause a dramatic growth in guardianships and conservatorships in Nebraska over the next two decades. In response to the challenges this increase will cause in the legal community, Chief Justice Mike Heavican and the Nebraska Supreme Court today appointed a Guardian/Conservator Commission to ensure both the personal and financial safety of vulnerable adults under guardianships and conservatorships throughout the state.

The Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships will be co-chaired by Douglas County Court Judge Susan Bazis and Nebraska Court of Appeals Judge Francie Riedmann. Commission members are listed below.

In response to an unfortunate incident in which a Omaha conservator committed fraud against several wards and other abuses noted across the state, Chief Heavican formed a Task Force on Adult Guardianships and Conservatorships as a temporary measure in 2010. The Task Force identified shortcomings in guardianship/conservatorship oversight practices. The Legislature and the Supreme Court stepped up to improve accountability through laws and enforcement procedures which increased protection of the person and assets of court-supervised adults. The Guardianship Reform Act of 2011 was sponsored by Senator Colby Coash and unanimously passed to become effective January 1, 2012. The Supreme Court adopted new rules to increase accountability for those legally entrusted to provide for the financial and personal well-being of Nebraska wards and protected persons.

The Task Force was discharged after making its report and recommendations. The newly-formed, Supreme Court Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships will be more long-term, and will have increased participation by judges, clerk magistrates, and members of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s probate section, the State’s Unit on Aging, regional and state elder-care entities, statewide developmental disability serving entities, law enforcement, the banking community, and guardians and conservators.

The Commission’s purpose is to engage in continuing analysis and study of statutes, court rules, and court procedures relating to guardianships and conservatorships; to examine the challenges these laws and procedures pose for court staff, the judiciary, the practicing bar, vulnerable adults and children and their legal guardians and conservators, and other professionals and service providers working with protected persons and wards; to propose solutions or improvements both within and without the judicial branch in response to such challenges; and to support the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission which the Nebraska Supreme Court approves.

Chief Justice Heavican, in his 2012 State of the Judiciary address, noted that “None of us is na├»ve enough to believe that elderly persons will no longer be subject to abuse. But the statutory changes made by the Legislature, which are being implemented by the judicial branch, will provide for better checks and balances." He added, "The Nebraska Supreme Court will continue to make every effort to ensure that these legislatively mandated changes to guardianships and conservatorships will be effectively administered.”

Full Article & Source:
Supreme Court Appoints Permanent Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships, co-chaired by Douglas County Court Judge Susan Bazis and Nebraska Court of Appeals Judge Francie Riedmann
 

4 comments:

StandUp said...

This is a good way to start the day: positive news!

Dianna said...

I am glad to see Nebraska appointing a Permanent Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships but when I saw it was co-chaired by Judge Susan Bazis and Judge Francie Riedmann, my smile wasn't quite as wide. Where are the advocates? Or will this Permanent Commission on Guardianships and Conservatorships have any advocates on it?

Thanks for posting NASGA. I hope to hear more about this.

tina d said...

Insiders watching over insiders has me suspicious we need independent non-connected people who are not beholding to anybody in my opiniob this is #1 step which is overlooked but the first thing I look at who is watching whom? We need to get this right the boomers are coming the protection industry is drooling with anticipation it's their big chance to intercept, seize and control our nest eggs for their profit and think some of these firms are listed as non profit no profit corps now how bold is that?

Jessica said...

I agree. It seems good at first thought but when we examime it further, is it going to be a resource for victims?