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+ What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal relationship created when an individual or organization is named by order of the court to exercise any or all powers and rights over an incapacitated person and/or the estate of an individual.

+ When is Guardianship needed?

Guardianship is needed when an individual is unable to make and carry out decisions regarding his or her own personal welfare and basic needs. Therefore, the guardian is responsible for arranging for the ward's personal needs including shelter, food, medical care, social services, education, rehabilitation, etc.

+ What is the purpose of a Guardianship?

The purpose of Guardianship is to protect the individual and/or the individual's property, preserve the individual's health and the individual's assets and promote the person's individual growth.

+ What are alternatives to Guardianship?

  • Durable Power of Attorney for health care, finances or property.
  • Representative Payee.
  • Healthcare Proxy.
  • Case Management
  • Living Will
  • Trust
  • Professional Advocacy
  • Independent Living Program

+ What is the role of the guardian?

The role of the guardian is to be an advocate, surrogate decision-maker, coordinator of services and financial planner and estate manager.

+ Who can serve as a guardian?

  • Anyone over 18 years of age who has never been convicted of a felony. The guardian may be a family member or friend.
  • A nonprofit organization.
  • An attorney.
  • The State.
  • The County.
  • A quasi-governmental agency.
  • A registered professional guardian.

+ What is not the role of a guardian?

The guardian is not a caregiver, companion, service provider, warden, savior, reformer or substitute family member.

+ Does Project Amistad receive guardianship referrals from the community?

Yes. Project Amistad accepts guardianship referrals from the community including various community agencies, the courts, the State Department of Againg and Disability Services, hospitals, home health agencies, hospice agencies, Emergence Health Network, state-supported living centers and the public.

+ I think someone I know needs guardianship services. What should I do?

If you are concerned about the health and safety of a person and believe their life may be in danger, call 911. If you are concerned about abuse, neglect or exploitation, conact the Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. If the individual is not in imminent danger, you may refer the individual for guardianship service through Project Amistad.

If you would like to refer an individual for guardianship services with Project Amistad, you will need to submit a guardianship referral which includes; 1. A Guardianship Referral form completed with as much information as possible. 2. An Affavit of Dilligent Search, and; 3. A Certificate of Medical Examination. All necessary forms may be obtained by calling Project Amistad at 915-532-3790.

+ What happens to property owned by a person if the person is removed from their home?

Each case is handled according to their specific situation. Project Amistad will always try to preserve assets unless doing so interferes with the individual's care and/or needs.

+ Can Project Amistad help me become the guardian of someone I know?

Unfortunately, no. If you need to apply for guardianship services for someone you know, you will need to contact a probate attorney.

+ What is the cost of pursuing guardianship services for my family member?

The cost will vary depending on the probate attorney you hire and your specific case. However, the courts may allow you to certify the case as indigent if the case meets certain criteria. Speak to your attorney about this and he/she can assist you in completing an Affadavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs to the court.