SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Senate has approved a bill aimed at overhauling New Mexico’s guardianship laws.
The Senate voted 40-0 on Wednesday for reforms designed to increase state oversight and public access to information regarding professional guardians and conservators who manage finances and care for vulnerable elderly and disabled people. The bill now moves to the House.
The Senate-approved bill includes more stringent reporting and financial accountability measures. It also requires that conservators be bonded or secure other asset-protection.
Those placed under guardianship or conservatorships are typically elderly, those with dementia or Alzheimer’s or others who need help with their decision-making or finances.
Currently, guardians and conservators proceedings are secret and families have complained about being barred from visiting or communicating with their loved ones once a professional guardian is appointed.