EMU professors team up to teach guardianship policy issues to members of the Society of Financial Service Professionals

YPSILANTI –Three Eastern Michigan University professors presented continuing education coursework to members of the Society of Financial Service Professionals this month.  Annemarie Kelly, Lewis Hershey, and Christina Marsack-Topolewski examined the potential ethical, financial, and clinical challenges associated with implementing legal guardianships. 

Annemarie Kelly
Annemarie Kelly
Lewis Hershey
Lewis Hershey
Christina Marsack-Topolewski
Christina Marsack-Topolewski

Kelly, Hershey, and Marsack-Topolewski have developed a set of best practices that can help individuals who are subject to guardianships avoid possible pitfalls associated with the U.S. guardianship system. According to the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the research work by Kelly, Hershey, and Marsack-Topolewski constitutes a “landmark” contribution to the special needs planning field. 

In their course titled “Implementing Guardianship Policies in Special Needs Planning: Five Possible Pitfalls,” the trio of EMU professors analyzed public and private guardianship programs, policies, and laws across all 50 states. These teachings are the product of the professors’ year-long study on the benefits, concerns, and anomalies inherent within U.S. guardianship systems

In some circumstances, a court order for a guardianship may not be the best means of providing support and protection to an individual. With this in mind, Kelly, Hershey, and Marsack-Topolewski’s work emphasizes that all guardianship processes should pertain only to individuals with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities or severe cognitive impairments.

Their groundbreaking research emphasizes the importance of considering alternative resources and methods to help support individuals with personal and financial decision-making issues. 

Kelly is a practicing attorney and assistant professor from the EMU College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) Department of Health Administration.  She can be reached at akelly30@emich.edu.  Hershey is a former financial planner and professor in the EMU College of Business Department of Marketing.  He can be reached at lhershe1@emich.edu.  Marsack-Topolewski is a practicing clinical social worker and an assistant professor in the EMU CHHS School of Social Work.  She can be reached at ctopole1@emich.edu.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through

the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

December 02, 2020

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Contact:
Geoff Larcom
glarcom@emich.edu
734-487-4400