BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2493
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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 2493 (Fuller)
          As Amended April 13, 2010
          Majority vote 

           JUDICIARY           9-0                                         
           
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          |Ayes:|Feuer, Harkey, Brownley,  |     |                          |
          |     |Evans, Hagman, Jones,     |     |                          |
          |     |Huffman, Monning, Nava    |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Requires a conservator to keep a photograph of each  
          conservatee.  Specifically,  this bill  requires a  conservator  of  
          a person, u  pon establishment of a conservatorship and annually  
          thereafter,  to  ensure that a clear photograph of the conservatee  
          is taken and preserved for the purposes of identifying the  
          conservatee if he or she  becomes  missing  .

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Allows the court to appoint a conservator to act on behalf of  
            a person who is unable to adequately provide for his or her  
            personal needs (a conservator of the person) or incapable of  
            managing his or her property or other financial assets (a  
            conservator of the estate).  

          2)Provides that a conservator of the person has the care,  
            custody, and control of a conservatee, except as provided.  

          3)Allows the Public Guardian to be appointed for any person who  
            requires a conservator and there is no one else who is  
            qualified and willing to act.  Requires the public guardian to  
            apply for appointment as conservator in specified cases.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None

           COMMENTS  :  This bill, sponsored by the County of San Bernardino,  
          is the result of an unfortunate incident in which a conservatee  
          went missing and, although located in a neighboring county, went  
          unidentified for several months because the conservator did not  
          have an identifying photograph of the conservatee.  This bill  








                                                                  AB 2493
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          requires all conservators to have recent photographs of their  
          conservatees and use those photographs to identify the  
          conservatee should he or she become missing.

          According to the author, this bill is necessary because:

               Statistics show that at some point in their lives, 60  
               percent of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's  
               disease, a serious mental disorder or dementia wander  
               from their homes or long-term care facilities, often  
               without knowing their own name or address and  
               sometimes missing life-sustaining medications.  This  
               can be a problem for conservatees of the public  
               guardian-conservator.  Conservatees may wander from  
               their care facilities and disappear into the adjacent  
               community or even into other counties.  

          California adopted its first conservatorship statute in 1957.   
          Prior to that time, the court appointed a "guardian" for any  
          person, child or adult, who was deemed "incompetent" to manage  
          his or her daily affairs.  After 1957, the law distinguished  
          between a "guardianship," created for a minor, and a  
          "conservatorship," created for an adult.  There are also  
          specific types of conservatorships for persons who are  
          considered "gravely disabled" by reason of mental illness or  
          chronic alcoholism and subject to confinement in a locked  
          psychiatric facility under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and  
          for "developmentally disabled adults" 

          In 2006, in response to shocking reports of abuse of  
          California's frail and elderly, the Legislature passed the  
          Omnibus Conservatorship and Guardianship Reform Act of 2006, a  
          landmark package of bills to overhaul California's troubled  
          conservatorship system.  That legislation was designed to remedy  
          alarming deficiencies in California's conservatorship system and  
          help protect the financial, physical and emotional well-being of  
          vulnerable and dependent adults.  That reform legislation also  
          expanded the role of the Public Guardian to not only permit  
          appointment of the Public Guardian for any person "who requires  
          a guardian or conservator and there is no one else who is  
          qualified and willing to act," but also to require appointment  
          if no one else is willing to act and there is imminent threat to  
          the health or safety of the proposed ward or conservatee.  









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          This bill is the result of a recent case in San Bernardino  
          County where police in San Bernardino County picked up an  
          elderly man with obvious medical issues, but who did not have  
          identification, could not identify himself and could not be  
          identified with fingerprints.  Only after this unfortunate  
          individual had spent several months in the county's public  
          hospital, was he finally identified as a conservatee who had  
          been reported missing in another county.  The conservator had  
          filed a missing person's report, but had no photograph to go  
          with the report.  The sponsor believes that if the conservator  
          had provided a photograph with the report, the conservatee would  
          have been identified in several days and returned to his  
          residence.

          This bill requires all conservators to maintain recent  
          photographs of their conservatees.  In the event that a  
          conservatee becomes missing, the photograph will be available to  
          help identify and locate the lost conservatee as quickly as  
          possible, which will hopefully speed the conservatee's safe  
          return home.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :  Leora Gershenzon / JUD. / (916) 319-2334 


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