October 1, 2021 
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager

NAELA Comments on Toxic Conservatorships Hearing

Washington, DC — This week, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing titled “Toxic Conservatorships: The Need for Reform.” The hearing touched on ways to improve conservatorship proceedings, including the right to counsel of one's choosing, timely termination of a conservatorship, adequate notice of proceedings, and increased court oversight. 

Today, NAELA submitted a statement for the record for the hearing, which noted that while conservatorships are needed in certain circumstances, inadequate state laws and a lack of resources has led to financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect. In particular, NAELA urges Congress to authorize and fund a Guardianship Court Improvement Program (GCIP). A GCIP would bring together stakeholders to evaluate state laws and courts and, working in collaboration, develop plans for systematic improvement. 
“The national focus on guardianship and conservatorship abuse presents an opportunity for fundamental reform. Funding and resources for states to reform their laws and court systems would go a long way towards ensuring every person has meaningful due process and does not unnecessarily lose their rights or decision-making capabilities,” said NAELA President Letha Sgritta McDowell, CELA, CAP.
Learn more about NAELA members, how NAELA members can assist you and your loved ones, and questions to ask when working with an elder and special needs law attorney.

Find an elder and special needs law attorney in your area using NAELA’s Member Directory.

Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/findlawyer.

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