A group of bi-partisan leaders and Attorney General Dana Nessel announced new legislation to strengthen guardianship and conservatorship laws.
The bills are a culmination of two years of work by the Elder Abuse Task Force, which is dedicated to addressing abuse, neglect and exploitation of Michigan’s older adults.
If passed, the bills will implement the task force’s initiatives. Highlights of the legislation include certification of guardians and conservators, including requirements for training and professional standards. The legislation also requires courts to investigate if a family member is passed over in favor of a professional guardian or conservator. Additional protections will also be in place for older adults under a guardianship before a guardian can remove them from their home.
"The legislation goes to the heart of protecting Michigan's most vulnerable and ensuring that their civil liberties, autonomy and dignity are protected,” Nessel said. “These proposals help ensure our guardianship system provides vulnerable Michiganders with a true safety net, not a trap, and ensures our probate courts use guardianship only to combat, not enable, elder abuse.”
Members of the task force are scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee at a hearing in Oakland County. House Judiciary Committee testimony is scheduled for Tuesday, June 22.
“One of the most important roles we have in our society and in state government is to protect our most vulnerable citizens from harm – emotionally, physically and financially,” Senator Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville said. “As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, I look forward to working with the attorney general and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this common goal of ensuring the best interests of our seniors is always the top priority.”