OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5255



This bill updates terminology and makes unrelated changes to statutes governing probate court processes to appoint guardians for adults with intellectual disabilities.

The bill expands the types of entities that the probate court may appoint as guardians for adults with intellectual disabilities to include, in addition to private, nonprofit corporations authorized under current law, (1) for-profit corporations, (2) limited liability companies, (3) partnerships, and (4) other state-recognized nonprofit or for-profit entities. Under the bill, this change applies to both (1) plenary guardians, who supervise all aspects of an adult's care, and (2) limited guardians, who supervise certain specified aspects of an adult's care. By law, unaffected by the bill, residential care homes cannot be plenary guardians, and hospitals and nursing homes cannot be plenary or limited guardians.

The bill makes several changes to the confidentiality of documents in guardianship cases. Under current law, applications for guardianship and subsequent records of probate court proceedings must be sealed, except for the guardian's name. Under the bill, records related to guardianship cases are confidential; the bill expands the exception to include the protected person's name. Current law allows disclosure of records to the respondent, the respondent's counsel or guardian, and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) commissioner or her designee. The bill instead allows disclosure to all parties in the case and their counsel, DDS, and the Office of the Probate Administrator. Under current law, the probate court may disclose records to other parties for cause shown, as long as the court gives notice to the (1) respondent, respondent's counsel, or guardian, and (2) DDS commissioner or her designee. The bill instead requires the court to give notice to the (1) respondent, (2) respondent's counsel, (3) guardian, and (4) DDS.

The bill renames “ward” under current law as “protected person.” The definition still refers to a person for whom the probate court grants guardianship.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016, except for a technical provision on probate court fees, which is effective July 1, 2016.


Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable