The future of Arizona guardianships

By April 29, 2011Uncategorized

For quite some time now we have been discussing the debate that has been underway in Arizona about reforming the law that controls Arizona guardianships.  This debate started many months ago, when reporters began investigating the system in which Arizona guardianships exist, and it has continued through the present time, eventually reaching both houses of the state legislature, and finally the governor’s office.  As it now stands, it looks like the state is going to adopt both of the bills that we have been discussing in recent posts, Senate Bill 1499 and House Bill 2424.

If you recall, both the Senate Bill and the House Bill are aimed at tightening up the laws that control Arizona guardianships.  And although both of the bills were slightly diluted by the time they passed their respective chambers of the state legislature, they will certainly have an impact on Arizona guardianships if the governor signs them into law, which there is every indication that she will do.  If and when Governor Brewer signs the laws into effect, we can expect to see the following changes to Arizona guardianships:

SB 1499 will have the following effect on Arizona guardianships:

  • It will place tighter restrictions on how fiduciaries under Arizona guardianships can spend their clients’ assets.
  • It will mandate training for judges that deal with Arizona guardianships.
  • It will permit wards to substitute guardians without cause.
  • It will limit the use of temporary Arizona guardianships.
  • It will require fiduciaries to provide families with accounting records.

The House Bill is not quite as comprehensive as the Senate Bill, although it will still have an impact on Arizona guardianships.  If signed into law, HB 2424 will create a review panel to receive complaints about the Probate Court.  The panel will provide feedback and suggestions to the Governor on an annual basis, with the purpose of keeping the system accountable and safe.  Neither the House Bill nor the Senate Bill has been signed into law, but we can expect the legislation to become official soon.  To learn more about Arizona guardianships, call JacksonWhite or fill out a consultation request form.