Rep. Ely: Guardianship Bill Goes a Long Way for New Mexico’s Most Vulnerable
Santa Fe, NM – Today, the House passed changes to New Mexico’s guardianship system, which has been under fire the past few years for lack of oversight. SB 19 as amended, would provide more transparency and safeguards for protected persons and their families.
“The legislature clearly recognized the need to reform our state’s guardianship system. Families must be assured that their family members in need of protection receive everything they need from the legal system and their guardians, so they can have the highest possible quality of life,” said Rep. Gail Chasey.
Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), played a pivotal role in informing the debate and guiding the legislation to reform the current guardianship system. After the committee he said, “The solutions in this guardianship bill go a long way to addressing the many problems New Mexico’s guardianship program has faced.”
Under state law, a court can appoint a person or organization as a guardian to make personal, health care and financial decision for adults who have been deemed unable to make those decisions for themselves. In recent years, it has been revealed that families have been unable to access information about their family members who have been put in a guardian’s care, making it difficult to hold a guardian accountable.
SB 19 would make information more accessible to family members of the protected person, ensure visitation is not solely determined by the guardian, include court oversight over finances, and expand the circle of people, such as family and caregivers, who may participate and receive notice in court proceedings involving the protected person.