Alternatives to Guardianship

Guardianship should be the last option since it is the most restrictive choice. Here are a few less restrictive options:

Representative Payee:
Government agencies may sometimes administer benefits to a representative who receives, distributes, and accounts for benefits if the person with a disability cannot manage the benefit check by himself or herself.

Joint Property Ownership:
Placing property under the names of a family member with a disability and another trusted person could protect the property from being handled inappropriately.

Trust Accounts:
Placing money in a trust account restricts its use and protects the money from mismanagement.

Surrogate decision-making:
A surrogate decision maker can consent to medical care if the person is incompetent of making his or her own decisions, however, the surrogate may not authorize treatment if the patient is actively refusing treatment.

Power of Attorney:
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a representative the ability to manage assets and financial affairs.

The Arc can help you find the options that are best for your family.