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California Governor approves bills aimed at curtailing financial elder abuse

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed four bills that will overhaul the conservatorship system serving thousands of California’s elderly residents.

SB 1550 will create a bureau within the state Department of Consumer Affairs to test and license conservators, enforce continuing education requirements and impose sanctions.

AB 1363 mandates creation of uniform standards for conservators, requires courts to annually review conservatorships, orders additional case monitoring by investigators, and tightens requirements on fees, bonding and the appointment of temporary conservators.

SB 1116 increases court oversight over the sale of a conservatee’s home.

SB 1716 allows courts to consider informal reports of abuse or neglect, and requires that court investigators, when reviewing a conservatorship, consider the appropriateness of living quarters, the quality of care, and any physical or mental treatment provided.

The bills are certain to positively impact nursing home residents, who are often victims of financial elder abuse.

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