Probate courts in Michigan do not always order background checks on people appointed to make financial and medical decisions for seniors, children and other wards who cannot care for themselves, a state audit has found.
Of 76 probate courts that responded to auditors' survey, 34 - or 45 percent - did not do criminal history checks on conservators, guardians or their families before naming them. Forty-six, or 61 percent, did not do sex offender checks.
The audit, released Thursday, said while doing background checks before and after appointments is not required under state law, it is a "sound business practice" favored by the AARP, an advocacy group for seniors.
Auditor General Thomas McTavish recommended that the Michigan Supreme Court's administrative arm provide guidance to probate judges on doing background checks of potential conservators and guardians.
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Audit Flags courts for not Doing Background Checks on Conservators, Guardians