(LEX 18) — A Kentucky state lawmaker is introducing a bill that would reform the way guardianships and conservatorships are done in Kentucky following a conservatorship involving pop singer Britney Spears.
The bill, introduced by State Rep. Patti Minter, aims to "prevent the abuse or exploitation of people who are unable to make decisions for themselves."
Jamie Spears had controlled his daughters' finances since February 2008, when the pop star entered into the agreement after a series of public mental health episodes. The conservatorship was terminated by a California judge last month.
Short for "Conservatorship Advocacy to Remove Exploitation," the CARE Act would give greater voice to people subject to guardianships or conservatorships to express their needs to courts. It would also give courts more authority to make changes when appropriate.
"While our current laws on conservatorships and guardianships are meant to help people who cannot help themselves, they can be misused, leading to abusive situations similar to what Britney Spears experienced. This happens here in Kentucky to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, which is why it is vital that we update our laws and keep guardianships and conservatorships free from abuse," Minter said.
The bill would make it easier for people to request modifications and termination of their guardianship or conservatorship if their circumstances have changed. They can also remain in contact with their families through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Individuals may be placed under the care of a conservatorship or guardianship if a court deems them to be unable to make decisions for themselves due to their mental health or cognitive disabilities.
The CARE Act is currently pre-filed as Bill Request 850 and will be considered in the 2022 session of the General Assembly.