State Rep. Graham Filler today helped lead the House in approving a bipartisan plan to improve protections for vulnerable adults in Michigan.
Filler, R-Clinton County, is leading the effort to improve the state’s guardianship and conservatorship system to make sure Michigan seniors and other vulnerable adults are not taken advantage of by the people who are trusted to care for them.
“In Michigan, there are countless guardians and conservators who work tirelessly to protect the rights and assets of their wards,” Filler said. “But sadly, there are also some who have exploited vulnerable individuals, taking advantage of people who cannot defend themselves. This is a disgrace, and we have a duty to put an end to it.”
House Bills 4909-12 will offer several new protections within the guardianship and conservatorship system, the process used after a court decides an individual is not capable of making their own legal, medical or financial decisions. The plan will provide procedural safeguards for the appointment of guardians, require guardians to take special precautions to protect people’s property and increase transparency about the way a ward’s property is being used.
The legislation addresses specific problems identified by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the state’s Elder Abuse Task Force, a group of about 55 organizations and more than 100 individuals that worked on the issue for more than two years. However, Filler said the appeal for reforms has been building for nearly two decades.
“We can’t stand by while bad actors prey on vulnerable people who can’t defend themselves,” Filler said. “Michigan seniors deserve better – they deserve respect, care, and protection, and we’re going to make that happen.”
House Bills 4909-4912 now advance to the Michigan Senate for further consideration.
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