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Overview of Guardianship

Overview of Guardianship

Guardianship, also referred to as conservatorship, is a legal process utilized when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his/her person and/or property or has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence. Because establishing a guardianship may remove considerable rights from an individual, it should only be considered after alternatives to guardianship have proven ineffective or are unavailable.

Alternatives to Guardianship may include:

  • Representatives or substitute payees
  • Case/care management
  • Health care surrogacy
  • Trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney for property
  • Durable powers of attorney for health care
  • Living wills
  • Community advocacy systems
  • Joint checking accounts
  • Community agencies/services

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