Most of us at least have a basic understanding of what it means to be under a guardianship. Let’s look closer at what supported decision-making is.
What Is Guardianship
Guardianship involves the legal system, and a court declaring that an individual is no longer able to make appropriate decisions regarding his or her own self-care, medical and financial matters. Thus, a guardian is appointed to protect the vulnerable individual and make necessary decisions.
Recently in Indiana and across the nation, there have been a multitude of discussions about the concept of support decision-making as an alternative to guardianship. In fact, there is a variety of alternatives to guardianship available.
Powers of attorney allow an individual to designate someone to assist in decision-making. This happens for financial transactions and for healthcare matters. And they are often effective in avoiding a guardianship. In some instances, the power of attorney may be utilized more than others.
Again, however, having selected the person to help generally allows for greater comfort in receiving the assistance or allowing the transition of the decision-making.
Protective Orders as Guardianship
Protective orders entered by a court are another alternative. In fact, protective orders are court orders to protect business or financial affairs. They are not available for matters of self-care or health care.
Supported Decision Making involves an individual making his or her own decisions. But being provided assistance and information to help understand the situation and choices so they can make the best decision. In some instances, it is vocabulary help or cutting through the confusing. Or perhaps fancy terminology and translating it into more plain language. Sometimes it includes powers of attorneys and also protective orders.
Supported Decision Making is not going to work in all situations. For example, if a loved one has certain levels of thought and memory impairment due to some type of dementia, it is not likely workable long-term. Likewise, certain types of mental illnesses will not lend themselves to supported decision-making. No one solution fits all situations.
However, there is nothing to fear in guardianship. A guardian has a legal duty to make the individual as independent as possible. That can be through a small checking account, allowing the individual to reatin certain decisions, or a myriad of other items.
Guardianship is not the end of an individual. And Supported Decision Making is not the substitute for all guardianships. If you have a friend, loved one, relative or someone you assist, the most important thing you can do is get legal advice to explore the options and find the solution best suited for your individual situation.
Read these, too:
- Help! How do Mom & Dad Pay For Care?
- Estate Planning Mistakes
- Career Advice from a Freelance Human Beeing
Taking guardianship of a loved one although it is a lot of responsibility is sometimes necessary. Make sure you get professional advice to make the right decision for your your loved one.
Absolutely – professional advice is so important!
My daughter was suicidal and dealing with dangerous situations of driving drunk, amongst other things we feared could harm her or someone else. I wanted to get some legal control over her (since she was over 18), but I was advised by a lawyer that IF she were to harm someone else that they could then turn around and sue me for her actions. It’s a very slippery slope when you’re dealing with those types of situations. I can fully understand using some of these options if someone were sick or mentally couldn’t make decisions. Great article of useful information!
Increible story – thank you so much for sharing it with our readers! And we are glad you liked the article – thank you!
It is so important to think about this sort of care as we age for our own protection-even consider Power of Attorney-making our own decisions gives us independability yet we may need some help
Absolutely! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!