Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1178

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 29-3; IC 34-30-2.

Synopsis: Volunteer advocates for seniors and guardians. Permits a court to appoint a volunteer advocate for seniors ("volunteer") to represent and protect for a limited period the interests of an incapacitated or protected person who is at least 55 years of age. Requires a volunteer to report to the court and make recommendations regarding the incapacitated or protected person. Allows a volunteer to subpoena witnesses and present evidence to a court. Provides civil immunity for a volunteer, a volunteer advocate for seniors program, and a guardian.

Effective: July 1, 2004.





Avery




    January 13, 2004, read first time and referred to Committee on Judiciary.







Introduced

Second Regular Session 113th General Assembly (2004)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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HOUSE BILL No. 1178



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning probate.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 29-3-1-16; (04)IN1178.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 29-3-1-16 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004]: Sec. 16. "Volunteer advocate for seniors" means an individual who:
        (1) is a volunteer;
        (2) has completed a limited guardian training program approved by a court;
        (3) is supervised by a community volunteer advocates for seniors program;
        (4) is appointed by a court to serve as a limited guardian for an incapacitated person or protected person who is at least fifty-five (55) years of age; and
        (5) provides reports and makes recommendations to a court.

SOURCE: IC 29-3-8.5; (04)IN1178.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 29-3-8.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004]:
    Chapter 8.5. Volunteer Advocates for Seniors
    Sec. 1. A court in a proceeding under this article may appoint a volunteer advocate for seniors.
    Sec. 2. A volunteer advocate for seniors shall submit to the court:
        (1) a progress report fifteen (15) days after the date of appointment describing the matters required by the court; and
        (2) a final report sixty (60) days after the date of appointment:
            (A) describing the matters required by the court; and
            (B) making recommendations to the court as to whether a need exists for continued representation of the incapacitated or protected person.
    Sec. 3. A volunteer advocate for seniors shall:
        (1) serve as a limited guardian to represent and protect the interests of an incapacitated or protected person who is at least fifty-five (55) years of age;
        (2) investigate and gather information regarding the health, welfare and financial circumstances of the incapacitated or protected person, as directed by a court;
        (3) facilitate and authorize health care, social welfare, and residential placement services as needed by the incapacitated or protected person;
        (4) advocate for the rights of the incapacitated or protected person;
        (5) facilitate legal representation for the incapacitated or protected person; and
        (6) perform any other duty required by a court.
    Sec. 4. A volunteer advocate for seniors may:
        (1) consent to medical and other professional care and treatment for the incapacitated or protected person's health and welfare;
        (2) secure the appointment of a guardian or coguardian in another state;
        (3) take custody of the incapacitated or protected person and establish the person's place of abode within Indiana or another state in accordance with IC 29-3-9-2;
        (4) institute proceedings or take other appropriate action to compel the performance by any person of a duty to support the incapacitated or protected person's health or welfare; and
        (5) delegate to the incapacitated or protected person certain responsibilities for decisions affecting the person's business affairs and well-being.
    Sec. 5. If a court appoints an individual to serve as a volunteer advocate for seniors, the appointment shall be for a period of sixty (60) days. After the initial sixty (60) day period, the court may extend the appointment for a period as determined by the court to be necessary to protect the interests of the incapacitated or protected person.
    Sec. 6. A volunteer advocate for seniors is considered an officer of the court for the purpose of representing the interests of an incapacitated or protected person.
    Sec. 7. The court may appoint an attorney to represent a volunteer advocate for seniors.
    Sec. 8. A volunteer advocate for seniors may subpoena witnesses and present evidence regarding:
        (1) the supervision of the incapacitated or protected person; or
        (2) any investigation or report required by the court.
    Sec. 9. Except for gross misconduct:
        (1) a volunteer advocate for seniors program that;
        (2) an employee of a volunteer advocates for seniors program who; or
        (3) a volunteer for a volunteer advocates for seniors program who;
performs duties in good faith is immune from any civil liability resulting from the program's, employee's, or volunteer's performance.

SOURCE: IC 29-3-9-2; (04)IN1178.1.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 29-3-9-2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004]: Sec. 2. A guardian (other than a temporary guardian) or volunteer advocate for seniors appointed under IC 29-3-8.5 may, with the approval of and under such conditions as may be imposed by the court after notice and hearing, change the physical presence of the protected person to another place in Indiana or to another state if the court finds that such a change is in the best interests of the protected person. Upon such a change, the guardianship may be limited or terminated by the court.
SOURCE: IC 29-3-11-4; (04)IN1178.1.4. -->     SECTION 4. IC 29-3-11-4 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004]: Sec. 4. Except as provided in section 2 of this chapter and except for gross misconduct, a guardian appointed under this article is immune from any civil liability resulting from the guardian's performance.
SOURCE: IC 34-30-2-125.5; (04)IN1178.1.5. -->     SECTION 5. IC 34-30-2-125.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS

[EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004]: Sec. 125.5. IC 29-3-8.5-9 (Concerning a volunteer advocate for seniors).

SOURCE: IC 34-30-2-126.5; (04)IN1178.1.6. -->     SECTION 6. IC 34-30-2-126.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2004]: Sec. 126.5. IC 29-3-11-4 (Concerning a guardian appointed under IC 29-3-5).