Guardianship & Alternatives:

A Guide to Personal, Health Care & Financial Management Options


Increased awareness of alternatives is important for both individuals needing services and their family and friends, who may have little knowledge of options available instead of guardianship. Because many family members may feel they need to choose between a guardianship and no intervention, they may choose to go the route of guardianship. Understanding of available options is essential to ensure that individuals needing only minimal intervention, such as assistance with paying bills, do not get "defaulted" into a guardianship.

These substantive curriculum materials on guardianship and alternative legal interventions attempt to familiarize the advocate with the types of legal tools available to provide personal and property management for the incapacitated older client and with the possibilities for advance planning by individuals, so that surrogate decisions will be made according to their directives if they later become incapacitated.  The purpose of this presentation is to encourage and foster the preservation of individual autonomy of older persons to the extent possible.  These materials also attempt to identify those options that will help clients maintain maximum control over their lives at any given point, while being aware of and planning for possible future limitations.

In order to encourage the use of legal options, and a more appropriate use of guardianship, the goal of this Guide is to go beyond a mere description of the tools available, to an examination of the benefits and dangers inherent in the use of each tool.  Although we hope to broaden the range of options that attorneys offer to individuals facing these dilemmas, we realize that no degree of knowledge can assure easy answers to the very real and complex problems arising in the area of surrogate decision-making.

230 pages. October 1995. To order, print and fill out an order form from our Publications Page, or call TCSG at (734) 665-1126. TCSG accepts checks and money orders only.