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Nevada Court Panel Calls For State Guardianship Overhaul

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A panel formed by the Nevada Supreme Court is calling for lawmakers to overhaul a troubled state guardianship program that critics say hasn't always properly served the disabled and elderly people it's supposed to help.

Appointing lawyers to represent those whose assets and affairs are being managed tops a list of recommendations announced this week by a commission that spent 15 months studying the program. The rules currently don't allow legal representation.

Other proposals include a "bill of rights" for wards of the program, allowing judges to enlist independent investigators and accountants to spot problems, and capping fees charged by private guardians.

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In a Thursday statement about the 236-page report, Reno television reporter and commission member Terri Russell cited what she called heartbreaking stories of "abuse, fear, and distrust" in the program.