PFAC Government Relations Update

PFAC Government Relations Update – Legislation Recently Enacted into Law

Meredith Taylor and Norine Boehmer, PFAC Legislative Committee Co-Chairs

Jerry Desmond, PFAC Legislative Advocate, Desmond & Desmond LLC

PFAC is pleased to report that as of the end of July, six of the measures the association is supporting this year have passed the Legislature, have been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, and will take effect on January 1, 2019.

Authority of Guardian of the Estate After Death of the Ward

AB 2113 [Obernolte]

This bill clarifies the continuing authority and obligation of the guardian of the estate after the death of the ward to pay last expenses, maintain custody and control, and preserve the assets prior to delivery to the personal representative, or as ordered by the Court.

The bill is intended by the author to help dispel confusion by financial institutions regarding a guardian’s authority over estate finances after the death of the ward until a personal representative is appointed.

Authority of Conservator After Death of the Conservatee

AB 2236 [Maienschein]

This bill clarifies that although a conservatorship terminates upon death of a conservatee, the conservator continues to have certain powers and responsibilities, including conserving the estate and paying unpaid expenses.

The bill is sponsored by the Conference of California Bar Associations in order to dispel any uncertainty by a financial institution regarding the authority of a conservator after the death of the conservatee, ensuring that the conservator can pay the debts of the conservatee, including funeral and burial expenses.

Authority for Conservators to Obtain Certified Copies of Death Certificates

AB 2750 [Obernolte]

This bill adds a deceased person’s surviving adult kin and a conservator to the list of persons allowed to obtain a certified copy of a death certificate.

The measure is sponsored by the California Funeral Directors Association in order to expand the definition of an “authorized person” to obtain certified copies of death records to include an appointed conservator of a person or estate. This is intended to eliminate any confusion on who may obtain a certified copy of death records.

Protection of Dependents Who Live Independently

AB 1934 [Jones-Sawyer]

This bill clarifies that the terms “dependent adult” and “dependent person” include adults who live independently for purposes of statutes that protect persons with disabilities from neglect and abuse.

The measure is sponsored by the Arc and United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration. The measure is intended to eliminate one of the obstacles to reporting: the fact that the abuse law calls people with disabilities “dependent adults” or “dependent persons,” sometimes leading law enforcement officers, social workers, and even the victims and their families to believe they are not protected by these laws because they live independently.

Eligibility of Nonprofits to be Family Home Agencies

SB 1107 [Leyva]

This bill authorizes private for-profit agencies to be selected as “family home agencies” [FHAs] for purposes of the developmental services system.

The author intends to increase the opportunity and flexibility for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to live in a family setting by expanding Family Home Agency vendorization to for-profit agencies. The bill is co-sponsored by ResCare and Service Employees International Union.

Minors – Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

AB 2642 [Levine]

This bill ensures that unaccompanied minors are able to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status immigration relief.

The measure provides that a nonprofit charitable corporation not incorporated in this state may be appointed as the guardian of a minor if specified requirements are met, which include that:

  1. The nonprofit charitable corporation is licensed by this state to provide care for minors;
  2. The nonprofit charitable corporation is contracted by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide care and custody of the minor; and
  3. The petition for guardianship is filed in connection with a petition to make the necessary findings regarding special immigrant juvenile status.

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