Britney Spears case sheds light on guardianship system

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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – What is conservatorship and how does it work in Nevada?

As the Britney Spears case draws national attention to the area of ​​law that allows this stuff, 13 Investigates has exposed it here in Clark County for years.

Our years of investigative reporting have exposed guardianship issues as we uncovered corruption and greed in the system meant to protect the most vulnerable.

For clarity, legal terms vary from state to state and are sometimes used interchangeably. In California, where Britney’s case is filed, guardianship applies to children under 18. Guardianship is for adults only. Here in Nevada, the term guardianship applies to both minors and adults.

For adults, the system is meant to protect people unable to care for themselves, such as an elderly person with dementia. But that could apply to someone much younger. For example, a victim of head trauma or someone with mental health issues.

In a guardianship, the court appoints someone and gives them the legal authority to make crucial life and health care decisions, and to manage and protect the family’s money, home, and other assets. anybody.

However, our investigation revealed that the system exploited people, some of whom did not need guardianship at all.

Homes were sold and life savings were depleted while the vulnerable person was isolated from their family.

Lawyers and private guardians took advantage while the very person they were supposed to protect rarely had a say.

Due to what we have revealed in our years of investigation, former private professional babysitter April Parks is serving a 16 to 40 year prison sentence for exploitation, theft and perjury.

Her office manager and attorney, along with her husband, were also found guilty of their role in Parks’ schemes.

As a direct result of our investigation into the failing guardianship system, the Nevada Supreme Court established an Office of Guardianship Compliance and new state laws were passed to protect individuals and require licensing for professional guardians.

Nonetheless, we sadly continue to hear from family members here in Nevada and across the country who claim their loved one is trapped in a system that many believe fails to protect the most vulnerable.

For more information on guardianship reform, visit CEAR, the Center for Estate Administration Reform.

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