CAMPER training

As I said in an earlier post, Minnesota is moving to a mandatory e-filing type system for Conservatorship accounts, effective January 1, 2011.  The system is called CAMPER (Conservator Account Monitoring Preparation and Electronic Reporting).  In order to use it, you need a log-in ID and password, which are only given to you after completing on-line training.  The on-line training is a series of 7 tutorials which you have to view and which is supposed to take about 37 minutes (however, when i did it, there were issues with the uploading of the tutorials, so it took longer).  The tutorials, in my opinion, were painfully slow.  They went through each item on the screen very thoroughly and in lots of detail.  This would probably be helpful for a user who is not familiar with how the completion of on-line forms work, but for someone who has basic knowledge of/experience with completing on-line forms, the tutorials are tedious.  Nonetheless, the program itself (CAMPER) looks very cool.  It is essentially a system of online forms, like a form wizard program.  The conservator enters all the basics:  property on hand, income, expenses, etc.  After doing so, the program compiles the appropriate forms (Inventory, Annual Account, Final Account) and they are submitted electronically to the Court.  It looks like it will simplify things for both the conservators and the courts (once the conservators get used to entering/submitting info this way; I’m sure there will be an adjustment period where it will cause headaches for all.)

I think the CAMPER program will be good in that it will force the conservator to be organized and more accountable (as they should be).  It will be great for professional conservators who have multiple protected persons as clients.  However, for many of the individuals that I represent who are conservators of just their spouse, or parent or child, I think they will have a hard time with the program.  Many of my clients are already overwhelmed with the work and details of being a guardian and conservator for their loved one, and they aren’t particularly computer savvy.  So to add a requirement that they learn how to do all these forms on-line, may seem even more overwhelming to them.  Many of them currently just bring all the information to an attorney, have the attorney complete the appropriate forms and then meet with the attorney to sign off on the forms.  Now it appears they will have to do it all themselves.  I haven’t seen an option in the training tutorial that would allow an attorney to prepare all of the on-line forms for a conservator client and then just have the conservator review it before electronic submission.  (There is a part that asks the user if they have an attorney and they fill in the attorney information; The user can also save the information before submitting it, so perhaps an attorney could simply get the  log in information from their client and prepare the documents for the client, save them, then have the client review them before they are submitted?  I plan on emailing the CAMPER people and asking them if this is an option.  I’ll post what I find here later.)