Oversight of guardians and conservators of adults would increase with a bill passed Wednesday on a 49-0 vote of the Legislature.
If signed by Gov. Dave Heineman, it would go into effect Jan. 1.
The bill (LB157), introduced by Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash, came from a task force of senators, judges, attorneys and law enforcement created by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican last year after a case in Omaha highlighted what can happen when a guardian does not act in good faith.
The measure would put more information in the hands of judges so they can make more informed decisions about who's going to serve, and how a guardian or conservator will serve a vulnerable person.
It lays out conditions for information at the time of appointment of a guardian and then ongoing reporting requirements, including these.
* A requirement for criminal history checks.
* A bond, which can be waived by the court or handled in other ways, on the ward's assets if they exceed $10,000.
* Letters of guardianship filed with the register of deeds in every county in which the ward owns property or interest in property.
* An inventory of the ward's assets filed within 30 days of appointment of a guardian to the court, interested persons and bonding companies, if required, and then annual inventories after that.
* Permission of the court to move the ward's place of residence outside the state.
* Authorization of the court to refer guardianship and conservatorship cases to mediation or other alternative dispute resolution.
* A procedure for an interested person to submit an affidavit to the court about concerns regarding a guardian, at the time of appointment or after.