There are a couple of recent developments I wanted to point out to you. One is a bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives, H.R. 4174, the Guardianship Accountability Act of 2019. Section Two of the bill contains findings and purposes:
(a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following:
(1) An estimated 1,300,000 adults and approximately $50,000,000,000 in assets are under the care of guardians in the United States.
(2) Most guardians are selfless, dedicated individuals who play an important role in safeguarding individuals in need of support. However, unscrupulous guardians acting with little oversight have used guardianship proceedings to obtain control of individuals in need of support.
(3) Once a guardianship is imposed, there are often few safeguards in place to protect against individuals who choose to abuse the system and few States are able to report accurate or detailed guardianship data.
(4) A full guardianship order may remove more rights than necessary and may not be the best means of providing support and protection to an individual. If individuals subject to guardianship regain capacity, all or some rights should be quickly and efficiently restored.
(5) States should encourage courts to use alter natives to guardianship through State statutes, including the adoption of the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act, to ensure better protections and control for individuals being considered for guardianship and those pursuing a restoration of their rights.
(6) A national resource center on guardianship is needed to collect and publish information for the benefit of courts, policy makers, individuals subject to guardianship, guardians, community organizations, and other stakeholders.
(b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act are to help States improve guardianship oversight and data collection by—
(1) designating a National Online Resource Center on Guardianship;
(2) authorize grants for the purpose of developing State Guardianship Databases; and
(3) establishing procedures for sharing background check information related to appointed guardians with other jurisdictions.