New uniform law expands protections in adult guardianship proceedings

12/18/2017, Model Act, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

In 2017, the Uniform Law Commission released the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act, an update to the 1997 Uniform Guardianship and  Protective Proceedings Act.  As with the old Act, the new version provides states with two options regarding counsel: 1) a right to appointed counsel upon request of the proposed ward; or 2) mandatory appointment upon filing of a petition.  However, the new version specifies that if option 2 is selected, appointment is regardless of indigence, and specifies that the role of any appointed attorney is to advocate for the client's wishes to the extent such wishes are reasonably ascertainable.  The new version also mandates appointment upon filing of a petition for emergency guardianship, and contains an optional provision about the right to counsel for petitions to modify or remove a guardian.