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Probate courts raise concerns about abuse by conservators

A person is thinking of his or her family or community after he or she is ffffffffffffffffffffffffgone. The possibility of mental decline makes it necessary to plan for the future of assets. A relative intended to leave someone a bequest. These are all good reasons for Connecticutians to visit a probate court.

The probate court system is there for people to access the justice system as easily as possible. One of the main functions of a probate court is to assign and confirm a legal guardian of a person who cannot manage their own personal affairs. Similarly, courts can also appoint a conservator to tend to a person's financial affairs when he or she cannot do so.

Many people who need a guardian or conservator may have their judgement compromised by advanced age or mental disability. As a result, Connecticut's probate court administrator has expressed concern over the possibility of fraud or financial abuse by conservators.

"The risk of abuse is too high," said a Connecticut state representative. "We must take steps to make sure that conservators are held to the highest ethical and fiduciary standards."

Legislation has already increased auditing of conserved accounts, and future laws may also address increasing risks of fraud, such as the adoption of new electronic banking applications that can be abused as well.

Victims of abuse by conservators and guardians may address the issue in probate court to alter bad arrangements or build new financial protections like trusts. An attorney can help introduce people to the probate court environment and represent a person's interests during litigation and other court procedures.

Source: Hartford Courant, "Probate Court Considers Added Protections To Curb Theft By Court-Appointed Guardians," Gregory Hladky, accessed June 08, 2018

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