Legal Guardianship

The Arc of the Peninsulas may be appointed guardian by the court for an adult person, known as a “protected person”, who is unable to give informed consent and/or advocate on their own behalf. 

As guardian, The Arc of the Peninsulas is responsible for the care and comfort of the protected person. This includes establishing the person’s place of residence, arranging for support services,  and making medical decisions.

The Oregon Revised Statutes state guardianship should “promote and protect the well-being of the person…and be designed to encourage the development of maximum self-reliance and independence.” The Arc of the Peninsulas delivers its guardianship services in a manner that respects the individual, assists them in making their own decisions when possible, and seeks the least restrictive alternative available based on the person’s needs.  

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How does the Guardianship process work


Guardianship in Washington State is a legal process in Superior Court, in which a guardian is appointed to exercise the legal rights of a person subject to guardianship, referred to as the incapacitated person or ward, who is at significant risk of harm based of a "demonstrated inability to adequately manage property or financial affairs" or "demonstrated inability to adequately provide for nutrition, health, housing or physical safety." (See Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 11.88.010.) Following a hearing, the court may establish the extent and duration of the guardian's power as a decision-maker for the incapacitated person. A limited guardianship may cover only decisions in one area (such as estate or property matters). A full guardianship, on the other hand, transfers authority for all major decisions to the appointed legal guardian. When a guardianship has been established, incapacitated persons may lose the right to: - Marry or divorce - Vote - Enter into a contract - Have a driver's license and drive - Buy, sell, own, or lease property - Consent to or refuse medical treatment - Decide who will provide care Because establishing a guardianship may restrict an individual's ability to exercise certain rights on his or her own, without involvement and assistance from others, it should only be considered after alternatives to guardianship have proven ineffective or are unavailable. Guardianships are meant to provide proper care and advocacy for vulnerable adults, while granting extended responsibility to the guardian. Given the scope of the guardian's authority, several measures exist to ensure that guardians are accountable for their decisions. Superior Courts retain ultimate responsibility for protecting the incapacitated person. In addition, regulatory oversight of professional guardians comes from the Washington State Supreme Court's Certified Professional Guardianship Board. The Board has the authority to review and approve applications for certification, set standards for ethics and training, hear grievances, and issue sanctions.




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