The American Bar Association has been advocating for changes to the guardianship system in the United States for many years.
Recently we held several discussions with Congressional staff to lend our support to legislative reform efforts, including the establishment of a Guardianship Court Improvement Program based on the successful program already in place for children. Such programs are aimed at bringing all stakeholders to the table to help states assess and address the weaknesses and failures in how the rights of persons before the court are protected. Establishing a program in the guardianship area would provide special training, resources, and technical assistance to courts on how best to handle these situations.
Activity in the 118th Congress on guardianship reform indicates there is ongoing interest in systemic improvements. For example, the recently introduced Guardianship Bill of Rights Act is designed to reduce the number of individuals who are placed under guardianship and to establish federal guidelines for the appointment and management of guardianships. The ABA supports this approach, as it recognizes the potential for abuse and exploitation in the current system.