Effective July 22, 2011, House Bill 1053 has amended RCW 11.88 and 11.92 and will require additional steps to petition for guardianship or to have your annual reports approved.
For Persons Seeking Appointment as Guardians
1. Proof of Completion of Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) online guardian training (http://www.courts.wa.gov/programs_orgs/guardian/?fa=guardian.layGuardianship&type=training
) must be filed with the petition to establish guardianship. Please note Spokane County has additional mandatory training and requires training verification prior to the guardian appointment.
2. All letters of Guardianship issued after 7/22/11, will have an expiration date. In Spokane County this will typically be 120 days after the anniversary date of appointment. Annual reports must be submitted within 90 days of the anniversary date of appointment so the report can be approved before letters expire.
3. The following forms must be completed and filed within 90 days from date of guardian appointment:
a. Designation Standby Guardian (Form #23, WPF GDN 04.0350)
b. Notice of Right to Request Special Notice (From #25, WPF GDN 04.0800)
4. A Guardianship Summary information form must be included in any Order Appointing Guardian/Successor Guardian. (In Spokane County this information is included in updated order forms posted on the Courts website www.spokanecounty.org/superiorcourt/guardianforms
effective July 22, 2011.) If an attorney is representing the petitioner, he or she will prepare this form.
For Existing Guardians
1. When submitting an annual report (Periodic Personal Care Plan or Guardian's Report & Accounting) a guardian must submit proof of the AOC online training (http://www.courts.wa.gov/programs_orgs/guardian/?fa=guardian.layGuardianship&type=training
) OR submit a Petition & Order waiving training (Form #59A & 59B). (One time only, not required annually.)
2. After this year's Order Approving is signed, take it to the Clerk's Office, Room 300 and have new letters of guardianship reissued. There is a $5 charge for the reissuance of letters.
3. A Guardian Summary must be provided in all Orders Approving Report & Accounting and Care Plans. (In Spokane County this information is included in updated order forms posted on the Court's website www.spokanecounty.org/superiorcourt/guardianforms
effective July 22, 2011.
It is the intent of the legislature to protect the liberty and autonomy of all people of this state, and to enable them to exercise their rights under the law to the maximum extent, consistent with the capacity of each person. The legislature recognizes that people with incapacities have unique abilities and needs, and that some people with incapacities cannot exercise their rights or provide for their basic needs without the help of a guardian. However, their liberty and autonomy should be restricted through the guardianship process only to the minimum extent necessary to adequately provide for their own health or safety, or to adequately manage their financial affairs.
Guardianship Revised Code Of Washington (RCW) Statues
Please view RCW 11.88/ 11.92 (Guardianship) and RCW Title 26 (Domestic Relations) Guardian Ad Litem for more information.
Court Appointed Guardian
A guardian is one who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of an incapacitated or a minor.
Court Appointed Guardian Ad Litem
A Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is an adult who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of an individual for a specific purpose for a specific period of time. Under the direction of the court, a GAL performs an investigation and prepares a report for the court of the GAL's findings and recommendations.
Guardianship Monitoring Program
GMP Mission Statement, Objectives and Goals
The Spokane County Superior Court appoints guardians for people who lack the capacity to make or communicate decisions because of mental or physical disability. While the goal of guardianship is to protect, people under guardianship can lose many important rights, including the right to vote, the right to drive, the right to decide where they will live, and the right to decide how their money will be used. Spokane County's Superior Court Judges are committed to keeping Spokane County's incapacitated people safe from abuse and exploitation.
The Spokane County Superior Court Guardianship Monitoring Program was implemented to improve the Superior Court’s ability to monitor guardians’ handling of the ongoing care and financial affairs of Spokane County’s incapacitated citizens under court-supervised guardianships. The court utilizes trained volunteers as Records Researchers, Financial Auditors, and Court Visitors.
Mandatory Guardian Training
Pursuant to LSPR 98.24, effective January 1, 2007, Spokane County Superior Court has developed mandatory guardian training for nonprofessional (family & volunteer) guardians. This rule applies to all guardianship cases including those originating under RCW 11.88 and SPR 98.16W.
Mandatory Guardian Training forms, including the registration and training schedule are available under Guardianship and Trust Forms. Please note registration must be done in person at the Guardianship Monitoring Program Office located in the Family Law Department, room 101, at least five business days prior to the training date along with a nonrefundable fee (check or money order only). If you have questions, please contact the Guardianship Monitoring Program by email or by telephone, 509-477-2622.
The Spokane County Superior Court Guardianship Monitoring Program recruits and trains volunteers to assist in monitoring guardianship cases. Volunteers are needed as Records Researchers, Financial Auditors, and Court Visitors to serve as the eyes and ears of the court to help detect or prevent abuse, neglect, and exploitation of incapacitated persons. Volunteers must be 21 years of age or older. Training and supervision are provided.
The Records Researchers research court files to verify that court-ordered documents and reports have been filed and update addresses and phone numbers of the incapacitated person and their guardian.
The Financial Auditors review court-ordered accountings of the incapacitated person’s finances, submitted to the court by the guardian, to ensure that the incapacitated person’s finances are being handled properly and in their best interest.
The Court Visitors visit the incapacitated persons, guardians, and any other caregivers to ensure that the incapacitated person’s needs are being met and adequate care is being provided. This monitoring function enables the court to have first-hand information about persons under guardianship.