For more information, contact:

Emily Smith, CSW, NCG
P.O. Box 2778
Cheyenne, WY 82003
Office: 307-635-8422


Alternatives to Guardianship

Guardianship is the most restrictive, intrusive protection which can be provided for an adult who is at risk. It should only be imposed as a last resort. Every effort should be made to determine the extent of protection a person needs and to identify the least restrictive type of protection that will meet the person’s needs. The following are some alternatives to guardianship.

Alternatives to guardianship include:

  • Limited Guardianship: A guardian’s decision-making authority is limited to specific areas with which the ward needs assistance.

  • Conservatorship: A person appointed by a court to manage the financial affairs of another. A conservatorship can also be limited in scope.

  • Representative Payee: A person or agency designated by a government agency to receive and expend another person’s benefits, such as Social Security and SSI, on the person’s behalf.

  • Advance Directives must be established prior to one’s incapacity:

    • Durable Power of Attorney: A notarized, written document by which a person appoints another as his or her agent with authority to act in his or her behalf for the purposes designated in the document.  The Medical Durable Power of Attorney allows the agent to make health care decisions following the incapacity of the principal. The General Durable Power of Attorney gives the agent decision-making authority in all matters except health care.

    • Living Will: A legal document by which an individual, while competent, may direct the use, withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures in the event there is no reasonable expectation that he or she will recover from a terminal or vegetative condition.