Help for judges hearing guardianship cases

Help for judges hearing guardianship cases

Help for judges hearing guardianship cases
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Help for judges hearing guardianship cases

Judges who preside over guardianship cases are often required to make determinations of capacity and to decide whether to appoint a guardian to protect individuals who are unable to make decisions in their own behalf. Capacity determinations directly impact an individual’s liberty and self-determination, critically important to dignity and wellbeing. Judges rely on multiple sources when determining capacity, such as reports prepared by court investigators, capacity evaluation reports submitted by expert clinicians, and testimony of the subject, witnesses, and professionals.

To provide guidance to judges in integrating information from multiple sources, the Elder Justice Initiative supported the University of Southern California in developing a Guardianship Evaluation Worksheet.  Similar to a bench card, this two-page worksheet provides a holistic, organizational paradigm for judges to comprehensively and incisively evaluate and integrate relevant evidence of capacity.  The tool also helps judges weigh factors which can forewarn abuse in guardianships prior to appointment.

The Worksheet is a 2-page fillable and printable PDF that provides judges with a checklist of the relevant factors to consider in adjudicating guardianship cases.

Guardianship Evaluation Worksheet

Worksheet Tutorial (10 min video on how to use the worksheet)

Helpful Resources

Methodology

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