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PUBLIC GUARDIANS

    NRS 253.150  Establishment of office by county commissioners; appointment, designation or contract; compensation.

     1.  The board of county commissioners of each county shall establish the office of public guardian.

     2.  The board of county commissioners shall:

     (a) Appoint a public guardian, who serves at the pleasure of the board, for a term of 4 years from the day of appointment;

     (b) Designate an elected or appointed county officer as ex officio public guardian;

     (c) Pursuant to the mechanism set forth in NRS 244.1507, designate another county officer to execute the powers and duties of the public guardian;

     (d) Except in a county whose population is 100,000 or more, contract with a private professional guardian to act as public guardian; or

     (e) Contract with the board of county commissioners of a neighboring county in the same judicial district to designate as public guardian the public guardian of the neighboring county.

     3.  The compensation of a public guardian appointed or designated pursuant to subsection 2 must be fixed by the board of county commissioners and paid out of the county general fund.

     4.  As used in this section, “private professional guardian” means a person who receives compensation for services as a guardian to three or more wards who are not related to the person by blood or marriage. The term does not include:

     (a) A governmental agency.

     (b) A banking corporation, as defined in NRS 657.016, or an organization permitted to act as fiduciary pursuant to NRS 662.245 if it is appointed as guardian of an estate only.

     (c) A trust company, as defined in NRS 669.070.

     (d) A court-appointed attorney licensed to practice law in this State.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 486; A 1989, 1041; 2003, 804; 2007, 2489; 2009, 593)

    NRS 253.160  Bond; oath.

     1.  Upon taking office, a public guardian shall file with the county clerk a general bond in an amount fixed by the board of county commissioners payable to the State of Nevada with sureties approved by the board of county commissioners. The premium for the bond shall be paid from the general funds of the county and be conditioned upon the public guardian’s faithful performance of his or her duties.

     2.  The general bond and oath of office of a public guardian are in lieu of the bonds and oaths required of private guardians.

     3.  The oath and bond of an elected or appointed public officer designated public guardian or designated to execute the powers and duties of the public guardian pursuant to paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection 2 of NRS 253.150 are in lieu of the bonds and oaths required of private guardians. The court may require such a designee to execute a separate bond for any guardianship in the manner prescribed in NRS 159.065.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 486; A 1989, 1041; 2009, 594)

  NRS 253.170  Vacancy.

     1.  If a vacancy occurs in the office of public guardian before the expiration of a normal term, the vacancy shall be filled promptly by the board of county commissioners.

     2.  The board of county commissioners may designate any qualified person to serve as acting public guardian until a vacancy in such office is filled.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 486; A 2003, 805)

  NRS 253.175  Deputies: Appointment; oath; recording of appointment; liability of public guardian; compensation.

     1.  A public guardian shall appoint one or more deputies to perform the duties of the public guardian in his or her absence. A deputy so appointed may transact all official business relating to the office of the public guardian to the same extent as the public guardian, except that the deputy is not authorized to employ or terminate the employment of subordinates in the office. Before entering upon the discharge of his or her duties, each deputy must take and subscribe to the constitutional oath of office. The appointment of a deputy must not be construed to confer upon that deputy policymaking authority for the office of the county public guardian or the county by which the deputy is employed.

     2.  Each appointment must be in writing and recorded, with the oath of office of that deputy, in the office of the county recorder. Any revocation or resignation of an appointment must be recorded in the office of the county recorder.

     3.  The public guardian is responsible on his or her official bond for any official malfeasance or nonfeasance of his or her deputies and may require a bond for the faithful performance of the official duties of his or her deputies.

     4.  The compensation of a deputy public guardian must be fixed by the board of county commissioners and paid out of the county general fund.

     (Added to NRS by 2003, 804; A 2005, 683; 2007, 2489)

  NRS 253.180  Subordinates, consultants and assistants.  Within the limits of appropriations for his or her office, a public guardian may:

     1.  Employ such subordinates, including, without limitation, deputies appointed pursuant to NRS 253.175, as authorized by the board of county commissioners and as necessary for the proper performance of his or her duties.

     2.  Contract for the services of consultants or assistants.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 486; A 2003, 805)

  NRS 253.190  Records.  A public guardian shall:

     1.  Keep financial and other appropriate records concerning all cases in which he or she is appointed as an individual guardian; and

     2.  Retain:

     (a) All such financial records for each case for at least 7 years after the date of the transaction that is recorded in the record; and

     (b) All other records for each case for at least 7 years after the termination of the guardianship pursuant to chapter 159 of NRS.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 487; A 2009, 2271)

  NRS 253.200  Qualifications of person for whom public guardian may be appointed; petition for appointment; accounting and report to be filed by temporary guardian in certain circumstances.

     1.  A resident of Nevada is eligible to have the public guardian of the county in which he or she resides appointed as his or her temporary individual guardian pursuant to NRS 159.0523 or 159.0525.

     2.  A resident of Nevada is eligible to have the public guardian of a county appointed as his or her permanent or general individual guardian if the proposed ward is a resident of that county and:

     (a) The proposed ward has no relative or friend suitable and willing to serve as his or her guardian; or

     (b) The proposed ward has a guardian who the court determines must be removed pursuant to NRS 159.185.

     3.  A person qualified pursuant to subsection 1 or 2, or anyone on his or her behalf, may petition the district court of the county in which he or she resides to make the appointment.

     4.  Before a petition for the appointment of the public guardian as a guardian may be filed pursuant to subsection 3, a copy of the petition and copies of all accompanying documents to be filed must be delivered to the public guardian or a deputy public guardian.

     5.  Any petition for the appointment of the public guardian as a guardian filed pursuant to subsection 3 must include a statement signed by the public guardian or deputy public guardian and in substantially the following form:

 

      The undersigned is the Public Guardian or a Deputy Public Guardian of ............. County. The undersigned certifies that he or she has received a copy of this petition and all accompanying documents to be filed with the court.

 

     6.  A petition for the appointment of the public guardian as permanent or general guardian must be filed separately from a petition for the appointment of a temporary guardian.

     7.  If a person other than the public guardian served as temporary guardian before the appointment of the public guardian as permanent or general guardian, the temporary guardian must file an accounting and report with the court in which the petition for the appointment of a public guardian was filed within 30 days of the appointment of the public guardian as permanent or general guardian.

     8.  In addition to NRS 159.099, a county is not liable on any written or oral contract entered into by the public guardian of the county for or on behalf of a ward.

     9.  For the purposes of this section:

     (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), the county of residence of a person is the county to which the person moved with the intent to reside for an indefinite period.

     (b) The county of residence of a person placed in institutional care is the county that was the county of residence of the person before the person was placed in institutional care by a guardian or agency or under power of attorney.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 487; A 1999, 920; 2007, 2490; 2009, 2272)

  NRS 253.210  Powers, duties, rights and responsibilities.

     1.  A person appointed as public guardian or designated as acting public guardian succeeds immediately to all powers and duties of the individual guardianships created by appointments of the public guardian as guardian for particular wards.

     2.  In the administration of any guardianship to which the public guardian is appointed pursuant to subsection 1, the public guardian has all powers, duties, rights and responsibilities contained in titles 12 and 13 of NRS.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 487; A 1979, 994)

  NRS 253.215  Legal assistance.

     1.  When necessary for the proper administration of a guardianship, a public guardian may:

     (a) Retain an attorney to assist him or her if the attorney practices law in the county and is qualified by experience and willing to serve or rotate this employment among attorneys who practice law in the county and who are qualified by experience and willing to serve; or

     (b) Upon approval of the board of county commissioners, obtain assistance from the office of the district attorney of the county.

     2.  Any attorney’s fee must be paid from the assets of the ward.

     (Added to NRS by 1983, 1597; A 2007, 2491)

  NRS 253.220  Investigation of financial status, assets and personal and family history of person for whom public guardian has been appointed.  A public guardian may investigate the financial status, assets and personal and family history of any person for whom the public guardian has been appointed as guardian, without hiring or being licensed as a private investigator pursuant to chapter 648 of NRS. In connection with the investigation, the public guardian may require any ward or any spouse, parent, child or other kindred of the ward to give any information and to execute and deliver any written requests or authorizations necessary to provide the public guardian with access to records, otherwise confidential, which are needed by the public guardian. The public guardian may obtain information from any public record office of the State or any of its agencies or subdivisions upon request and without payment of any fees.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 487; A 2007, 2491; 2009, 2273)

  NRS 253.230  Allocation of costs incurred in appointment proceedings and administrative costs.

     1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 253.215, if a public guardian is appointed as an individual guardian the costs incurred in the appointment proceedings and the administrative costs of the guardian’s services are not chargeable against the income or the estate of the ward unless the court determines at any time that the ward is financially able to pay all or part of the costs.

     2.  The financial ability of the ward to pay such costs shall be measured according to his or her ability to compensate a private guardian. This ability depends upon:

     (a) The nature, extent and liquidity of the ward’s assets;

     (b) The ward’s disposable net income;

     (c) The nature of the guardianship;

     (d) The type, duration and complexity of the services required; and

     (e) Any other foreseeable expenses.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 487; A 1983, 1597)

  NRS 253.240  Value of guardian’s services allowable as claim against ward’s estate; deposit of money received by public guardian.  The reasonable value of a public guardian’s services rendered without cost to a ward shall be allowed as a claim against the estate of the ward upon the approval of the court. Money received in payment of a claim against the estate of the ward shall be deposited by the public guardian to the credit of the county general fund or any other county fund, as determined by the board of county commissioners.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 487; A 2007, 2491)

  NRS 253.243  Request for advance of money to pay expenses of guardianship; payment of advances; reimbursement of advances from assets of estate of ward.

     1.  A public guardian may file with the board of county commissioners a request for an advance of money to pay necessary expenses incurred, or to be incurred, by the public guardian during a guardianship. The board may approve or deny the request. If the board approves the request, the board shall determine the amount to be advanced and advance that amount to the public guardian.

     2.  The board of county commissioners of any county may establish a revolving fund to be used to provide advances to the public guardian pursuant to subsection 1. If the board has established a revolving fund pursuant to this subsection, the board shall pay any advance approved pursuant to subsection 1 from the revolving fund to the extent that there is sufficient money in the revolving fund to pay the advance. After the money in the revolving fund has been exhausted, the board shall pay any advance, or any part of an advance, approved by the board from the general fund of the county. If the board has not established a revolving fund pursuant to this subsection, the board shall pay any advance approved pursuant to subsection 1 from the general fund of the county.

     3.  The public guardian must reimburse the county for any advance provided pursuant to subsection 1 from the assets of the estate of the ward as soon as, and to the extent that, the assets become available. If the board of county commissioners has established a revolving fund pursuant to subsection 2, the board shall deposit in the revolving fund the money obtained from a reimbursement provided pursuant to this subsection. If the board has not established a revolving fund pursuant to subsection 2, the board shall deposit in the general fund of the county the money obtained from a reimbursement provided pursuant to this subsection.

     (Added to NRS by 2007, 2486)

  NRS 253.245  Reports and budgets to and investigations by board of county commissioners.

     1.  The board of county commissioners may:

     (a) Establish regulations for the form of any reports or budgets made by the public guardian.

     (b) Review reports or budgets submitted to the board by the public guardian.

     2.  The board of county commissioners may at any time investigate any guardianship for which the public guardian has been appointed.

     (Added to NRS by 2007, 2487)

  NRS 253.250  Termination of appointment.  The court may, at any time, terminate the appointment of a public guardian as an individual guardian of a person or of an estate upon petition by the ward, the public guardian, any interested person or upon the court’s own motion if:

     1.  It appears that the services of the public guardian are no longer necessary; or

     2.  After exercising due diligence, the public guardian is unable to identify a source to pay for the care of the ward and, as a consequence, continuation of the guardianship would confer no benefit upon the ward.

     (Added to NRS by 1977, 487; A 2009, 2273)