District of Trumbull Probate Judge T.R. Rowe announced that Connecticut passed a new conservatorship law that affects a common probate court matter on May 24.
The law, Public Act No. 17-7, is called An Act Concerning Conservator Accountability. A
conservator is someone appointed by the probate court to supervise the
affairs of a person who cannot manage his or her personal care or
finances without assistance. According to the Trumbull Probate Court, it
oversees hundreds of such conservatorships throughout the towns of
Trumbull, Easton and Monroe.
The new law will change conservator
accountability in two key ways, Rowe said. The new law requires the
Probate Court Administrator to develop standard, statewide policies for
conservators to follow and to educate conservators about the standards
and came into effect on July 1. These standardized policies will both
guide conservators through their duties and also assist the court in
evaluating whether the conservator has been managing the conservatorship
The law also creates permits the
Probate Court Administrator to audit an account managed by a conservator
to ensure he or she manages it according to the court’s policies and
standards of conduct. The Probate Court Administrator will have the
authority to conduct these audits randomly to deter financial misconduct
and it will come into effect on January 1, 2018.
“Our current conservatorship system
runs quite well, but this new law will be a nice improvement.
Conservators play a vital role in the lives of thousands of needy folks
in our state every day,” Rowe said. “We will now have a mechanism in
place for greater uniformity in the care given to conserved people.”
Rowe added, “The discretion the
legislation gives to the Probate Court Administrator to randomly audit
conservatorship accounts will provide additional safeguards as well.”
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New state conservatorship law to take effect next year