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Guardianship

 

A guardian is a person with the legal responsibility to protect the well-being and rights of another. A guardian also has authority to make certain legal decisions for the person.

Parents are deemed to be the guardians of their biological children under age 18. A parent who adopts a child becomes the guardian of the adopted child. A parent may voluntarily relinquish guardianship of a child under age 18 and grant guardianship to another adult.

Upon turning age 18 all Vermonters are presumed to be competent to make their own decisions and to have a right of self-determination. A parent is no longer considered the guardian of a child once the child turns 18. Any guardianship for an adult must be authorized by a court.

Most adults with mental disabilities can make decisions for themselves. They may need extra support and time to learn to make decisions. There are many alternatives to guardianship which can provide the protections a person needs. Guardianship should be pursued only as a last resort.

 

Types of Guardianship


 


 

Program Contacts

  • Jackie Rogers, Director
    Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living
    Division of Disability & Aging Services
    Office of Public Guardian
    81 River Street, Suite 208
    Montpelier, VT 05609-2210
    Phone: (802) 828-3623
    E-mail: jackie.rogers@state.vt.us
  • Gordon Bullard, Program Technician II
    Department of Disabilities, Aging & Independent Living
    Division of Disability & Aging Services
    Office of Public Guardian
    81 River Street, Suite 208
    Montpelier, VT 05609-2210
    Phone: (802) 828-2143
    E-mail: gordon.bullard@state.vt.us

 

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Policies and Guidelines

 

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Publications

 

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Resources for Guardians

 

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Forms

Petition for Guardianship Services (Family Court) Forms

Petition to Appoint a Private Guardian (Probate Court) Forms

Are you having difficulty accessing any of the "Petition to Appoint a Private Guardian (Probate Court) Forms"?

If your web browser shows that the form has downloaded completely but you do not see the form, click the "Back" button on your web browser and click the form link again. If the form still does not appear you can access the VT Judiciary Probate Court Forms website directly at: http://vermontjudiciary.org/eforms/probate.aspx. From this page you may access the above listed forms directly.

 

 

Model Guardianship Evaluation

The American Bar Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National College of Probate Judges have collaborated to publish a guidebook on assessing the capacity of older adults. The guidebook, Judicial Determination of Capacity of Older Adults in Guardianship Proceedings, is available at www.abanet.org/aging/docs/judgesbooksum.doc. The guidebook includes a Model Clinical Evaluation Form for use by clinicians in guardianship cases.

The form has been adapted for use in Vermont by Susan Wehry, M.D. Evaluators and others using the form are encouraged to read the entire guidebook.

 

Alternatives to Guardianship - Appointing a Health Care Agent

A 2005 change to the Vermont law on health care decision-making makes it easier for a person with developmental disabilities to appoint a health care agent. DDAS has drafted a simplified form to assist individuals who simply want to appoint a health care agent.

COLST Form - Instructions and Form for Do Not Resuscitate Order/Clinician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment

 

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Legislation, Statutes and Regulations

 

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