An individual who is unable to manage his or her finances or make decisions regarding care may need a court appointed guardian to handle those matters. However, we believe guardianship should be the last solution to help the vulnerable adults in our lives. We offer alternatives to guardianship including estate planning with trusts, financial powers of attorney, and health care directives.
For adult disabled or individuals with special needs, assistance through a supported decision making agreement may be used. In a supported decision making agreement, an individual who needs assistance chooses others who support him or her in their daily needs. These individuals can be financial advisors, attorneys, geriatric care managers, private social workers and family who can assist with investing, paying bills, and making medical decisions, among other needs. The supportive model promotes individual self-determination and independence and can be a successful alternative to guardianship.