Guardianship Compliance Project

Welcome to the Guardianship Compliance Program (GCP) 

Mission

The mission of the Guardianship Compliance Project is to assist the courts in protecting our most vulnerable citizens and their assets. 

Guardianship Compliance Project (GCP)

The Office of Court Administration (OCA) manages the Guardianship Compliance Project (GCP) to provide additional resources to courts handling guardianship cases. Through this program, Guardianship Compliance Specialists (GCS) will be available to review guardianship cases to identify reporting deficiencies by the guardian, review annual reports and accountings, and report findings to the court.  The GCS’s will work with the courts to implement best practices in managing guardianship cases, identify active and closed cases, and assist with additional services. Assistance is available to courts with probate jurisdiction to provide oversight of guardianships. The GCP services are provided at no cost to the county. 

Through this project, our guardianship compliance specialists are be available to: 

  • Review adult guardianship cases to identify reporting deficiencies by the guardian.
  • Audit annual accountings and report findings back to the court.
  • Work with courts to develop best practices in managing guardianship cases. 

Since the project began in November 2015, Guardianship Compliance staff have worked with 39 courts in 25 counties. 

  • 23,224 guardianship cases reviewed
  • 15,319 guardianship cases recommended for closure
            2,807 deceased persons under guardianship
  • 7,905 active guardianship cases were identified
  • 1918 guardianship cases were found to be out of compliance
            32 percent of cases were found to be missing reports of the person
            41 percent of cases were found to be missing initial inventories
            44 percent of cases were found to be missing annual accountings

Note: These statistics are reported for the 21 counties in which the initial review process has been completed. The number of active guardianships in those 21 counties totaled 4865. With 1918 cases out of compliance with required reporting, the percentage of cases out of compliance is 39%. 

Conservatorship Accountability Project (CAP)

  • Texas received an implementation award to receive technical assistance to implement the Conservatorship Accountability Project (CAP). Indiana, Iowa, and Texas were selected to receive implementation awards; New Mexico and Nevada were provided planning awards. This project will use the extensive expertise and experience of the National Center for State Courts to support Texas' efforts in adapting the Minnesota "MyMNConservator" software, which allows conservators (known as guardians of the estate in Texas) to file their inventory and annual accountings electronically, integrating the software with our statewide electronic filing system. The red flag validation and implementation, standardized reports and alerts, and judicial response protocols in the system will greatly improve Texas judges' ability to protect assets and modernize and improve guardianship accounting with limited resources. This project coincides with the Office of Court Administration's Guardianship Compliance Pilot Project.
  • Part of the funding provided to OCA by the 84th Legislature was for the development of an automated, electronic tool to process the filing of required reports and other documents in guardianship cases.
  • This system will provide an automated method to notify courts when required reports are delinquent. It will also provide an automated method to review annual accounting reports for potential fraudulent activities. 
  • The OCA IT staff is currently evaluating and developing an on-line reporting application for guardians.
  • The goal will be to work with the courts to safeguard the assets of protected persons through the oversight of guardians by conducting professional compliance audits.
  • OCA expects that this online tool will be piloted in several counties prior to the end of the year.
  • The Office of Court Administration has also received a grant for the development of a Texas guardianship training application.  We have started meeting and will use a selected advisory council to assist in the development of this training and implementation of the captivate training module project with the NCSC. 

Guardianship Compliance Participating Counties

Hays, Guadalupe, Webb, Comal, Anderson, Montgomery, Orange, Tom Green, Kaufman, Lubbock, Bexar, Washington, Jefferson, Hale, Potter, Hale, Hill, Grimes, Waller, Lynn, Cameron, Williamson, El Paso, Bell, Lampasas, and Burnet counties have participated. 

 

  • Met with Judges, court staff, and county clerks on details of project.
  • They have all be cooperative with the project, except one county court at law judge.
  • Conducted an Initial Assessment and Program Survey.
  • Conducted Review and audit of guardianship files for overall reporting compliance.
    • Reviewing files for missing inventories, missing annual report of the persons, and missing annual accountings.
    • Completing audit sheet for each active case file.
    • Compiling our findings on a spreadsheet to report.
  • Conducting financial audit of estates using Initial Inventories and Annual Accountings.
  • Maintaining a list to recommend best practices for the courts.

Guardianship Compliance Personnel

The project team has three guardianship compliance specialists reviewing the guardianship case files.

  • Kim Bennink
  • Rebecca Doolittle
  • Annette Alvarez-Rodriguez

Recent Guardianship Compliance Training

  • Texas Guardianship Association (TGA) conference in San Antonio, Texas
  • In December and January 2017, GCP and JBCC staff attended HHSC guardianship training.
  • On May 26 and 27, 2016, The Guardianship Compliance team attended the Guardianship and Elder Law CLE in Austin.