In addition to Elder Law and estate planning attorneys with experience in guardianship law, representatives from three branches of government and advocates for the elderly and disabled will be represented on the commission. A recent article from KRWG, “In Depth: New Mexico Supreme Court Forms Commission To Recommend Guardianship System Changes,” explains the different roles involved in guardianship cases, and how the commission expects to improve matters in New Mexico.
Conservators are appointed by a court to manage the financial and possibly the property affairs of an incapacitated person. Those may be individuals suffering from dementia, traumatic brain injuries, a developmental disability or a mental illness.
The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered the commission to hold hearings to gather public input and then to make recommendations about any necessary changes in court rules, state statutes, program funding, administrative practices or other ideas to improve the guardianship system.
Wendy York, an Albuquerque attorney, has been appointed the chair of the new commission. York was a Second Judicial District judge from 1997 to 2005. She has worked in a private law firm for the past 12 years as a mediator in cases, including disputes involving family members and protected persons, as well as guardianship organizations.
Members of the commission include several judges, legislators, and Elder Law attorneys, like Tim Gardner, legal director of Disability Rights New Mexico, a non-profit group that promotes and protects the rights of people with disabilities and Jorja Armijo-Brasher, director of the Department of Senior Affairs for the City of Albuquerque since 2009. She is in charge of six senior centers, two multi-generational centers, as well as services and programs for the elderly, like home-delivered meals and transportation assistance.
The commission has been given until October 1 to make an initial status report and then to continue its work until a final report and recommendations are ready for review. How much of an impact the commission’s recommendations will make, remains to be seen.
Reference: KRWG.org (April 7, 2017) “In Depth: New Mexico Supreme Court Forms Commission To Recommend Guardianship System Changes”