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What Guardianship Is

Guardianship 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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