Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ten Years of Adult Guardianship Law Reform

"Ten years ago, the adult guardianship system was established in Japan to ensure support for elderly and disabled persons who have diminished mental capacities and protect them from fraud and other foul play.

"Under this system, a guardian holds the power of attorney to manage the assets of the incapacitated ward, choose welfare service programs for the ward and handle legal matters such as signing a contract to commit the ward to an institution. Petitions for the courts to appoint guardians are now being filed in increasing numbers every year. More than 27,000 petitions were filed last year. But only about 60 percent of the appointed guardians are the families and relatives of the parties being cared for. Clearly, the current trend is to appoint as guardians lawyers, judicial scriveners, welfare workers and other specialists.

"By appointing such third-party professionals, rather than families and relatives who may be lax in their fiduciary duties, trouble can be avoided and the rights of the incapacitated elderly or disabled ward be protected. Some families and relatives are unhappy about this, but we believe it is the most reasonable way to ensure the system is enforced as the law intends.

"But the adult guardianship system is no protection for incapacitated people who have no kin to turn to, and whose assets are not worth hiring a professional to manage them for a monthly fee of several tens of thousands of yen. To help such people, several municipalities, including the city of Osaka and Tokyo's Setagaya and Shinagawa wards, have come up with the concept of "citizen guardians." These people live in the same community as the incapacitated person needing help, and they use their community network to provide free service.

"By this autumn, Setagaya Ward will have 62 such active and prospective guardians. Citizen guardians are appointed after 50 hours of training. Their duties include visiting their charges and checking their health, managing their household finances and handling pertinent legal contracts by proxy.

"To protect guardians from taking on burdens beyond their capacity or becoming involved in trouble, there are lawyers, doctors, accountants and other specialists providing support, and the overall working of the system is supervised by social welfare councils.

"But outside such a forward-thinking community as Setagaya Ward, most municipalities are reluctant to act. Their tight finances don't allow new undertakings, some say. Others say there is little demand for such guardians, and argue that professionals, rather than amateurs, should be tapped in this sort of situation.

"We certainly believe each community should do as it sees fit. However, there is no doubt that petitions for guardianship appointments will keep increasing. And once a guardian has been appointed, in most cases his or her duties will continue until the ward dies. The number of people requiring guardians will snowball. In fact, there are already 130,000 people around the nation receiving support under the adult guardianship system. Each region must build a lasting, reliable system.

"Effective use of available guardians is important. We suggest experts be entrusted with difficult cases, such as when the ward owns substantial assets or there is a family feud, while citizen guardians may suffice in simpler cases. And the system should be flexible, making it possible to change guardians when a person's circumstances change.

"The loss of strong community ties is felt ever more acutely these days. This is all the more reason for society to pull together to develop new kinds of relationships. We believe the citizen guardianship system is a step in the right direction."

By Asahi Shimbun (Editorial, 8/20/2010), Link to article (last visited 8/21/2010)

12 comments:

coimbatore female escorts said...

This post is looking very informative. The key point of this post is its valuable information. After reading this post any one will get some very important points which are only helpful even precious also. I use to visit the post of many different kinds but it is the first time when I am fully satisfied. Now a days people are in to the habit of making posts. I think it would be a good inspiration for them.

hyderabad escorts said...

I am feeling myself very informated after reading this post. I have visited many posts but it’s a very unique kind of post. The key point of this post is valuable information. It’s a great post. Please keep posting.

chennai escorts said...

Its really a great post. I am sure that anyone would like to visit it again and again. After reading this post I got some very unique information which are really very helpful for anyone. This is a post having some crucial information. I wish that in future such posting should go on.

Delhi Escort said...

This is an amazing post. I like this post very much and very informative post. All things are described in very beautiful way. I think you should continue to make this type of post.

Delhi Independent Escorts said...

This is an excellent post. I liked this post very much. All things are described in very excellent way. In my eyes you should keep on such kind of postings for us. In future I would like to come here again for some new and more information.

Female Escorts in Mumbai said...

This post is so much informative. i get more information about this topic i think you should continue make this type of post. i really like this post.

Delhi Escorts said...

This post is so nice. I got many things by your post. It’s very enjoyable post everything are beautifully define in your post you should continue make this type post.

Mumbai Escorts said...

hey that a really nice update on this... thanks for sharing the information..

Delhi Escorts said...

I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it.

Mumbai Escorts said...

I know the compensation is comparative, but I would still like to know what they get!

Mumbai Escorts said...

hey that a really nice update on this... thanks for sharing the information..

Chennai Escorts said...

Welcome to Chennai sexy zone escorts we are finest Chennai escort service provider, Call us on Mr. Jason +91-9833437882. We also offer best female escorts in Chennai, We have indian model escorts in Chennai at Chennaisexyzone.com.
http://www.chennaisexyzone.com