We have had reports of cyber criminals imitating court telephone numbers (“spoofing”) and demanding that citizens pay money for fines or fees in cases involving relatives. These calls are not valid. New Mexico Courts will never call citizens to ask for payments of any kind.

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Guardians and Conservators

State law imposes new requirements on guardians and conservators as of July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019.

Guardians and conservators are individuals or organizations appointed by a court to make decisions for people incapacitated and unable to manage their finances, property, health care or living arrangements.

Additional information about a protected person must be submitted in initial and annual reports to courts under new rules and forms. It is mandatory that guardians and conservators use the forms specified in court rules.

Changes in the 2018 state law imposes new bonding requirements on conservators to help safeguard the assets of a protected person. The law also requires guardians and conservators to keep the protected person’s financial records for seven years and to fully comply with the requirements of any audit of the protected person’s account, inventory, report, or property.

The 2018 law opens court hearings in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings that were previously closed. Access to court records, especially before the appointment of a guardian or conservator, is expanded for family members and others entitled to notice of guardianship proceedings.

The 2019 law adds specific rights of the alleged incapacitated person, requires a professional guardian and conservator be certified and in good standing, increases fines for overdue interim or annual reports to $25 a day and creates a new grievance process to file a complaint about a court-appointed guardian or conservator.