Professor Nina Kohn on the Wendy Williams Guardianship Case: “There is a profound lack of data on guardianship.”

Professor Nina Kohn spoke with Marketplace at length on the news of talk show host Wendy Williams being placed in guardianship. In the article “Wendy Williams’ guardianship case highlights the Need for Reforms”, Kohn speaks about:

  • the guardianship petition process
  • who can be appointed guardians (including professional guardians)
  • guardianship abuses (such as the Michael Oher case), and
  • ways to avoid guardianship problems, such as the recently released Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship and Other Protective Arrangements Act, a statute drafted by a nonprofit that advocates for consistent laws across the country. Kohn was the reporter for the Act.

“This isn’t just a story about bad apples doing bad things when they’re appointed guardians. This is really a story about courts removing people’s rights without adequate justification, and then not monitoring the relationship to make sure that it’s actually protected for people,” she said. It’s difficult if not impossible to quantify how often this happens, because Kohn said “there is a profound lack of data on the guardianship.”