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AG Nessel Provides Testimony on Guardian Bills Before House Judiciary

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel testified before the House Judiciary Committee to update committee members on the changes to House Bills 4847-4850, which are among legislative proposals resulting from the ongoing work of the Elder Abuse Task Force (EATF). 

“Through that feedback and these productive conversations, we have made significant changes in the areas of guardian certification, removal from a permanent residence, guardian visitation, improving transparency and accountability, and ensuring protected persons know who their designated decision maker is when a guardianship company is appointed,” she said in her prepared testimony. 

The substitute versions of the four bills include: 

  • maintaining the current in-person quarterly visitation requirement for guardians;  
  • limiting the monthly visitation requirements to only being conducted virtually or telephonically; 
  • ensuring that anyone who is appointed as a guardian receives some type of certification; 
  • requiring court notice and approval when a professional guardian seeks to remove a protected person from their permanent residence while ensuring that a professional guardian can address emergency housing situations that may exist of arise during that guardianship; and  
  • providing guardians with the ability to clearly educate interested persons about a protected person’s reasonably identified sentimental items and their ability to dispose of such items to meet their fiduciary duty.  

The bills were passed by the committee Tuesday morning with bipartisan support. They will now go before the full House. 

“I would like to thank Chair Filler for his ongoing partnership and advocacy for these bills,” Nessel said. “Securing bipartisan support has been a driving force behind the EATF’s ongoing work and we believe these substitutes strike an appropriate balance.” 

The substitutes will be available on the legislature’s website. A video of the hearing will be archived on House TV

More information on elder abuse prevention is available on EATF’s webpage. Those interested in updates are welcome to subscribe to receive the newsletter.   

Last month, the EATF and its panel of experts provided its first virtual event: a three-hour symposium focusing on topics relevant to protecting Michigan's seniors. A recording of the symposium is available on the Department of Attorney General YouTube page