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Guardianship and Conservatorship

Guardianship is a legal arrangement where a person or institution is appointed as a guardian to make decisions for an incapacitated person, and/or a child -- decisions about housing, medical care, legal issues, and services.

Conservatorship is a legal arrangement where a person or institution is appointed to handle the financial affairs for another person. The conservator collects and deposits all income, pays all debts and bills, secures all assets, and handles taxes and insurance.

In 2004, the statutes were revised so that a full guardian of an adult automatically has the powers of a conservator. Before 2004, it was necessary to get two appointments, one for a guardian and one for a conservatorship.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is a person appointed by the court to manage the affairs of another, called the ward. A guardian has authority to make personal decisions for the ward, such as where the ward will live and under what conditions. A guardian may also manage the finances of the ward if a conservator (someone to manage the wards money and property) has not been appointed by the court.

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When can a guardian be appointed?

The court can appoint a guardian only if the court determines that a person is incapacitated and the services of a guardian are necessary (that is, alternative methods of providing services are not adequate). A person is incapacitated if his (or her) ability to receive and evaluate information or communicate decisions is so impaired that the person cannot take care of his or her own physical health or safety (meaning provide the healthcare, food, shelter, clothing, etc. the person needs to avoid serious physical injury or illness).
See AS 13.26.116, AS 13.26.005

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Who can be a guardian?

Almost anyone (except a minor) willing to take on the responsibility can be appointed. The guardian can be a relative or friend, a private professional guardian, or the public guardian.

The guardian cannot be someone who

  1. provides substantial professional or business services to incapacitated person,
  2. is a creditor of the incapacitated person,
  3. has interests that may conflict with those of the incapacitated person, or
  4. works for a person who would be disqualified under (1) (3).

These restrictions do not necessarily apply to the respondents spouse, adult child, parent, brother or sister if the court determines that potential conflict of interest is insubstantial and the appointment would clearly be in the best interests of the incapacitated person.
See AS 13.26.145

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Required Education on Becoming a Guardian or Conservator of an Adult

Alaska law requires all guardians of adults to obtain at least 1-hour of education on the responsibilities of being a guardian. You may satisfy this requirement by a combination of video and reading materials, which are available at your local court.

Reading Materials

Video

The following courts have regularly scheduled viewings:

If you live in Anchorage, you may also satisfy the requirement by attending a class sponsored by the Family Guardian Program. The class is offered the first Tuesday of each month at 4:00 p.m. at the Office of Public Advocacy, 900 W. 5 th Ave., Ste. 525 . Classes last approximately 1 hour and include an informational video and an opportunity to ask individual questions about the guardianship process. Please call 269-3500 if you plan to attend.

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Adult Guardianship / Conservatorship Information

If you have questions about adult guardianship in general, you can call the Family Guardian Program at (907) 269-3525, messages are checked weekly. You can also e-mail them at family.guardian@alaska.gov. For instance, if you are uncertain what level of protection might be appropriate, they can help you explore other options, including Social Security Representative Payees, a process that does not involve the court.

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Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Mediation Program

Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Mediation Program

Anchorage, Kenai, Homer, Palmer, Fairbanks, Bethel, Dillingham, Valdez and Kodiak courts offer mediation services in adult guardianship and conservatorship cases. The mediator helps those involved make decisions and create plans that will best meet the needs of the vulnerable adult. There is no fee for this service.

The publication, Guardianship and Conservatorship Mediation Program, PUB-37 Adobe Acrobat PDF logo, provides additional information. You may also contact your court for information.

The Confidentiality and Mediation Agreement - Adult Guardianship and Conservatorship Adobe Acrobat PDF logo describes mediation, the role of the mediator, and how mediation is confidential in these cases.

Court form Request for Court Sponsored Guardianship Mediation, MED-100, (fill-in form Adobe Acrobat PDF logo), may be used to request mediation if your case is in one of the courts named above.

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Adult Guardianship Forms

Starting a Guardianship or Conservatorship Case

Notices that Petitioner May Need to File

Notice of Respondent's Rights Before Visitor's Interview, PG-105 (1/03) [Fill-In PDF]
Notice of Guardianship Hearing (to Interested Persons), PG-115 (5/06) PDF | Fill-In PDF
Notice of Conservatorship Hearing (to Interested Persons), PG-116 (5/06) PDF | Fill-In PDF
Affirmation - Education Requirement Satisfied, PG-120 (2/07) [Fill-In PDF]
Notice of Change of Address, PG-195 (1/05) [Fill-In PDF]

The Plan

Guardianship Plan, PG-401 (1/05) PDF | Fill-In PDF

Acceptances

Acceptance of Appointment as Guardian, PG-430 (2/05) [Fill-In PDF]
Acceptance of Appointment as Temporary Guardian, PG-433 (2/05) [Fill-In PDF]
Acceptance of Appointment as Conservator, PG-435 (2/05) [Fill-In PDF]
Acceptance of Appointment as Temporary Conservator, PG-437 (10/12) [Fill-In PDF]

Request to Review the Guardianship (by guardian or ward)

Petition for Review of Guardianship/Conservatorship, PG-190 (12/04) PDF | Fill-In PDF

Reports & Inventories

Guardianship Implementation Report and Inventory, PG-205 (2/05) [Fill-In PDF]
Guardianship Annual Report, PG-210 (9/08) PDF | Fill-In PDF
Final Guardianship Report, PG-215 (2/05) [Fill-In PDF]
Conservatorship Implementation Report and Inventory, PG-220 (2/05) [Fill-In PDF]
Conservator's Annual Report, PG-225 (9/08) [Fill-In PDF]
Final Conservatorship Report, PG-230 (2/05) [Fill-In PDF]

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Minor Guardianship Forms for a Non-Indian Child *

* Do not use this packet if the child is an "Indian child" as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act. "Indian child" means any unmarried person who is under the age of 18 and who is either a member of an Indian tribe or Alaska Native village, or is eligible for membership in an Indian tribe or Alaska Native village. See page 3 of the instructions in the packet for more information about this.

Packet for Guardianship of a Non-Indian Minor

Annual Report on Guardianship of a Minor PG-640 (10/06) Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

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Minor Guardianship Forms for an Alaska Native or American Indian Child

Use this packet if the child is an "Indian child" as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act. "Indian child" means any unmarried person who is under the age of 18 and who is either a member of an Indian tribe or Alaska Native village, or is eligible for membership in an Indian tribe or Alaska Native village. See page 3 of the instructions in the packet for more information about this.

Packet for Guardianship of an Alaska Native or American Indian Minor

Annual Report on Guardianship of a Minor PG-640 (10/06) Adobe Acrobat PDF logo

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Rev. 2 January 2014
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