Ethics Advisory Opinions
Opinion 2005-004 - Retention of Records
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL GUARDIAN BOARD
ETHICS ADVISORY OPINION
RETENTION OF RECORDS
OPINION # 2005-004
Date: September 11, 2006
Brief restatement of question(s) posed:
How long should a certified professional guardian retain client records?
Directly applicable Standards of Practice, statutes, and/or other law or standards:
A guardian who has been discharged in a guardianship matter is expected to transfer assets and information to the successor guardian or personal representative in good order. Subsequent to discharge and transfer of assets and information, the retention of records benefits the incapacitated person and may protect the guardian against future allegations of misconduct or to explain the general management of the guardianship, such as in a probate proceeding or tax audit.
No specific standards of practice have been adopted by the Certified Professional Guardian Board to guide guardians in their decisions as to the retention of client records subsequent to their discharge as guardians. However, the premature destruction of records has the risk of complicating the management of a guardianship practice. Records which support decisions made by the guardian may be needed long after the conclusion of a guardianship and the discharge of the guardian. Consequently, retention of essential records either electronically or as paper in a secured and safe storage area for an indefinite time period is a matter to be determined, after consultation with an attorney, by the individual guardian.
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