Elder Law Resources
Washington State Guardianship Program and Services – Learn more about Washington State's professional guardian program and public guardianship services.
Washington LawHelp – Topics on 60 and older aging (e.g., guardianship and power of attorney, long-term are, Medicaid/Medicare)
Families USA – "The Voice for Health Care Consumers"
Guardianship Task Force
The Section's Guardianship task force was created in 2007 to explore systemic issues affecting guardianship in Washington. It was chaired by Tacoma lawyer (and former Elder Law Section chair) Eileen Peterson. The task force report, with recommendations, was considered by the Section executive committee on Aug. 18, 2009. A motion was adopted, by unanimous vote, to endorse the recommendations. The recommendations address such subjects as active judicial monitoring of ongoing guardianships, uniform systems of recording and gathering guardianship-related data, training for non-professional guardians, and state funding for the court system's guardianship-related role and for the Office of Public Guardianship. Read the Guardianship Task Force Report.
Public Guardianship Information
The Office of Public Guardianship (OPG) was created by the Washington State Legislature in 2007. The legislation creating it, now codified in Chapter 2.72 RCW, was based on a bill developed by the Elder Law Section to implement recommendations of its public guardianship task force. (view the task force report). The bill was supported by the WSBA and many other organizations. Its objective is to make guardianship services available to individuals who need them and are alone (without family members or friends to serve as volunteers) and poor (without the means to pay for needed services).
The OPG is part of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). It provides services, currently on a pilot basis by contracting with certified public guardians in six counties. The acceptance of new cases was suspended in 2009 in anticipation of, and response to, a reduction in the funding of the AOC.
With the strong support of the Elder Law Section and many other organizations, the 2010 Legislature appropriated $274,000 in its supplemental operating budget "solely for the office of public guardianship to provide guardianship services for low-income incapacitated persons." Read about the Section's legislative effort.
The 2007 legislation required a study and two reports from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, to consider the costs and offsetting savings of the program. A first report was issued in August 2009. Read the report.
Disclaimer: These links are provided for the convenience of section members and website guests. If you have resources you believe should be included, please email Elder Law Section section communications co-chair Lisa Kremer, firstname.lastname@example.org. No endorsement of any listed sites, products, or their related links is intended or implied, and no warranty is made as to the accuracy of the information in any link by either the Washington State Bar Association or this section.