Wish list of Public Policy for state and federal laws:

Recently I took a survey on improvements to current guardianship laws and this is my Christmas wish list for federal and state laws:

Every guardianship statute should say it is the public policy of the state: 1) to have family members serve as guardians over non family members; 2) that wards should never be moved to institutions against their will; 3) that disabled persons should always be placed in the least restrictive environment; 4) that no disabled person should be restrained with chemical or other restraints and the use of psychtropic drugs is illegal; 5) waiver of any substantive rights (ie, right to an attorney, right to a trial, right to a jury) shall be recorded by a GAL or attorney for the disabled and made available publicly and may be revoked at any time prior to trial; 6) volunteer guardians and attorneys shall be preferred over for profit guardians and attorneys and the state shall institute programs to recruit and train volunteer or low cost GAL’s and attorneys; 7) a volunteer senior assistant program should be developed to help the disabled pay bills, make good decisions and stay safe shall be preferred over a guardianship; 8) all attorneys, judges and managers of the disabled making any placement decisions or spending the ward’s money shall file Ethics Reports with the Office of the Attorney General annually disclosing all sources of income and any campaign donations; 9) enforcing a patient’s bill of rights in all nursing homes in every state and notifying the disabled of same in large, bold print, 10) lists of all attorneys, GAL’s, case managers, social workers shall be made public with the hourly rate and the senior and family members shall be able to rate their services and costs and publish to the public; 11) ban gag orders and isolation orders, unless the person is a known felon or psychopath– if the disabled person wants to see the ward and the ward wants to see the vistor, this should be their right; 12) make all guardianship records publicly availble and the transcripts for all hearings and hearings must have a court reporter or audio recording; 13) provide funding for those that need to appeal termination of right, POA, etc. incluign money for transcripts and a public defender; 14) all wards have the right to attend any guardianship proceedings if they desire and any family member may bring them and no one–GAL, court appointed attorney, etc. shall interfere with that right; 15) gaslighting and failing to inform the ward of the status of the court proceeding is prohibited; 16) all states must have a tort law that prohibits loss of consortium between parent and child and siblings in a guardianship situation.

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