Lawmakers look at bill of rights for those under court-ordered guardianship

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Seniors found incapable of taking care of their affairs either because of health of medical conditions are often put under a guardianship.

Ordered by the court, it means a professional guardian, family member or other concerned person takes over paying bills, scheduling doctors' visits, meals and other critical services.

Here in Nevada some guardians have taken advantage of the situation, taking money, property, and personal belongings of the seniors, leaving them alone and penniless.

Friday April 14, 2017, Senate Judiciary members approved language that will eventually become part of a bill of rights for people under a guardianship.

The bill of rights came from a guardianship commission which met for 18 months to look at the issue.

“I think sometimes there's a misunderstanding in a guardianship that you aren't able to vote. "Another one is to marry, to enter into a domestic partnership. To travel, to work if you are able. To have a driver's license if you have the ability and where with all to continue to drive. So it's important to know we are not taking away someone's civil liberties; we are allowing them to remain as engaged in society as they are able to engage,” says Senator Becky Harris, a Republican representing Clark County District 9, a member of the judiciary committee.

Harris was a member of the guardianship commission.

The protected person bill of rights is included in SB 360. If approved and signed by the governor, the rights will be posted in court rooms and court websites across the state.