KUNM

Public Comment Period Open On Adult Guardianship Rules

Oct 30, 2017

The state Supreme Court created a commission to look at how adult guardianship works in New Mexico, and to figure out how to improve the system. After a series of public meetings, the group released 17 recommendations, mostly aimed at accountability. 

Earlier this year, a guardianship firm in New Mexico was charged with embezzling millions from clients and then forced to close. Guardians are appointed by the courts to make health care decisions and manage the property and money of people who can’t do it for themselves—adults with brain injuries, dementia, severe mental illness or developmental disabilities.

The commission that’s been studying New Mexico’s system has suggested the state ask for more accounting from guardians and certification for professional guardians.

Patricia Galindo is a lawyer and the vice-chair of that commission. "We’re trying to tighten the requirements to ensure that vulnerable adults that don’t have the ability to make decisions or care for themselves are being helped by individuals that don’t take advantage of those disabilities or those shortcomings," she said.

The group also recommends that the Legislature establish a board that would regulate and oversee guardians. In New Mexico, it’s usually family members or close friends who become guardians. Most of the complaints, Galindo said, have come from companies that provide professional guardians and conservators. 

*****

Read the full report and the commission's 17 recommendations

Through Wednesday, Nov. 8:

• Submit your comments online

• Email them via nmsupremecourtclerk@nmcourts.gov.

• Fax them to 505-827-4837

• Mail them to this address:

Joey D. Moya, Clerk

New Mexico Supreme Court

P.O. Box 848 Santa Fe, NM 87504-0848