“The New Mexico Supreme Court issued an order Thursday, forming a 16-member commission to study the state’s guardianship system and to recommend improvements.”
The members of this new commission include representatives from the three branches of government, Elder Law and estate planning attorneys with experience in guardianship law, along with advocates for the interests of the elderly, disabled and others involved in guardianship proceedings.
KRWG’s recent article, “In Depth: New Mexico Supreme Court Forms Commission To Recommend Guardianship System Changes,” explains that court-appointed guardians make personal and health care decisions for those who are incapacitated.
Conservators are appointed by a court to manage the financial and perhaps 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.
The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered the commission is to make an initial status report by October 1 and to continue its work until completing a final report and recommendations.
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.
Reference: KRWG.org (April 7, 2017) “In Depth: New Mexico Supreme Court Forms Commission To Recommend Guardianship System Changes”