In New Jersey, however, guardianship cases are shrouded in secrecy.
The state's laws shield guardianship financial documents from public scrutiny. The identities of incapacitated individuals and their guardians are kept confidential, even from family members in some cases.
Minnesota has taken a different approach.
The state makes all guardianship documents public. In recent years, it also has created a statewide database to keep tabs on guardians, and in a further bid for transparency, it has given anyone the right to call for an accounting of someone holding a power of attorney.
Yet A. Kimberley Dayton, a Minnesota law professor, says guardianship abuses are still rampant in the state.
The reason? The laws simply aren't being enforced, she says.
One of the perpetrators was an appellate court judge who admitted to stealing approximately $300,000 from a trust fund he oversaw for a friend's incapacitated adult daughter.
Read the full sentencing report.
"They keep holding up Minnesota as a model of post-guardianship monitoring. And I know what's going on," says Dayton, one of the country's leading experts on guardianship abuse and crimes against the elderly.
"I just don't think any state is doing a good job," she says.
(Continue to Section 3)
Full Article & Source:
Betrayal of trust: Part Three