Substitute Senate Bill No. 344

Public Act No. 00-39

An Act Concerning Recovery In Conservator Of Estate Matters.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 45a-651 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) (1) If no suitable conservator can be found after due diligence and the court finds that the health or welfare of the respondent is in jeopardy, the Commissioner of Social Services shall accept appointment within available appropriations, as conservator of the estate of any respondent sixty years of age or older found incapable under sections 45a-644 to 45a-662, inclusive, of managing his or her affairs, whose liquid assets, excluding burial insurance in an amount up to one thousand five hundred dollars, do not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars at the time of such appointment. (2) If no suitable conservator can be found after due diligence and the court finds that the health or welfare of the respondent is in jeopardy, the Commissioner of Social Services shall accept appointment, within available appropriations, as conservator of the person, of any respondent sixty years of age or older found incapable under said sections of caring for himself or herself, whose liquid assets, excluding burial insurance in an amount up to one thousand five hundred dollars, do not exceed one thousand five hundred dollars at the time of such appointment.

(b) The Commissioner of Social Services may delegate any power, duty or function arising from the appointment of such commissioner as either conservator of the estate or of the person respectively, to an employee of the Department of Social Services.

(c) When so appointed, such commissioner or [his] designees shall have all the powers and duties of a conservator as provided in sections 45a-644 to 45a-662, inclusive. The department may contract with any public or private agency or person to assist in the carrying out of the duties as conservator of the estate or the person.

(d) During the term of appointment of the Commissioner of Social Services as conservator, if a suitable person or legally qualified person, corporation or municipal or state official is found to replace such commissioner as conservator, such person, corporation or official may be appointed successor conservator subject to the approval of the court of probate.

(e) The Commissioner of Social Services shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 setting forth the terms and conditions of the acceptance and the termination of appointment as conservator of the estate or person in accordance with this section.

[(f) Subject to the approval of the probate court having jurisdiction, the estate of any person for whom the Commissioner of Social Services has been appointed conservator pursuant to this section shall be liable for payment for the cost of service as conservator and, to the extent possible, payment to such commissioner for such service shall be made from the assets of the estate.]

[(g)] (f) In any proceeding to appoint the Commissioner of Social Services as conservator, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the person for whom such commissioner has been appointed conservator if such person is without legal representation.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved May 1, 2000