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What is a guardianship for the disabled?

When a family in King County, Washington, has a loved one that suffers from a severe mental or physical disability, there are many different legal issues that need to be arranged. A family knows how difficult it can be to take care of a loved one in this state and how vulnerable these children can be. But guardianships may also be necessary for adults who have, for example, been in a serious accident and are no longer able to make decisions on their own.

A guardian is a person who is appointed by a court to make decisions for another person. These decisions can involve medical, housing, financial and other issues. A person may have a long-term or permanent medical or physician disability that requires them to have someone making their decisions. If a person does not have a power of attorney, the court will appoint a suitable guardian. Guardianships are usually set up so that the ward, or protected person, has control over as much of their lives as they are able.

Depending on the ward's disabilities, the guardians may have a variety of tasks that they are entrusted to do on their ward's behalf. In addition to meeting the ward's basic needs, these task include making sure the ward's education is adequate. The guardian will also need to file regular updates on their ward's condition with the court. The report will describe where the ward is living, their mental and physical health and their finances. The report will also list the services being received by the ward and other information that may be requested.

A guardian for a disabled Washington resident is a very important person. Families who have a loved one that may require a guardian may want to meet with a legal professional skilled in estate planning to go over any questions they may have and learn more about the requirements of setting up a guardianship.

Source:, "Guardianship of incapacitated or disabled persons", accessed on Aug. 28, 2016

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