Nina Kohn Advocates for Guardianship Reform

Nina Kohn (’03), David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education at Syracuse University College of Law, was consulted by Minnesota Public Radio’s Marketplace to explain how guardianships work and directed states to adopt the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship and Other Protective Arrangements Act (UGCOPAA) to implement needed reforms (“Wendy Williams’ Guardianship Case Highlights the Need for Reforms,” Mar. 7). “[T]here is concern that courts are too quick to appoint a professional guardian when there’s family conflict, and there’s legitimate concern nationally that sometimes judges and professional guardians have overly cozy relationships,” Nina said. “Because many professional guardians are attorneys, you end up getting the attorneys’ hourly rate charged for services that don’t require an attorney to do them.” Nina explained that the UGCOPAA would “create new mechanisms for monitoring guardian’s conduct,” requiring courts “to mandate that guardians tell adult children and spouses of certain big changes in a person’s life, such as a change in the person’s primary residence.” She concluded, “I think this is something that is fixable. Profoundly fixable.”