Court-ordered guardians to face more oversight | KOB 4
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Court-ordered guardians to face more oversight

Erica Zucco
July 13, 2018 05:55 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico State Auditor Wayne Johnson and court officials explained Thursday how a new process of monitoring guardians will work. Now, people who take care of senior citizens and their finances will have more oversight, and won’t be the only decision makers on some important issues.

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A bipartisan bill passed through the Roundhouse is giving the state auditor’s office the power to audit guardians and conservators.

“I believe we can prevent seniors from having their financial stability taken away from them,” Johnson said. “In essence, we're going to guard the guardians.”

The new system puts space between the court, which appoints guardians, and the investigators looking into their work.

“We create the distance through asking the state auditor's office to take over the responsibility,” said NM Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura.

The new rules make other changes too.

“Under the old probate code the guardian or conservator the unilateral ability to limit visitation with a protected person, so that created problems with isolation whether it was legitimate or feelings of isolation but it also creates an environment for exploitation. So we've changed the rules in regards to visitation,” said Judge Shannon Bacon.

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Erica Zucco

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