Guardianship Information

Navigating the legal system on your own can sometimes be a little intimidating. When you are trying to do it on behalf of another, who is incapacitated in some way, it can feel even more complicated. Personally knowing or thinking that an individual is incapacitated is different than the Court stating it. An individual can only be deemed incapacitated by the Courts. To be legally incapacitated one must be either temporarily or permanently impaired by mental and/or physical disability, deficiency, or illness.

Due to changes made by the Washington Legislature in 2011, Guardians are now required to periodically return to Court and seek Court approval for their actions/decisions. This new law requires that no more than 3 years go by before the guardian seeks this approval. Failure to do so will result in the Letters of Guardianship expiring.

To help with uncontested guardianships there are pre-made packets, with instructions, available for purchase from the Clerk’s Office. These packets are tailored to meet Whatcom County's requirements and contain all basic documents that you will need to do everything, from starting a brand new Guardianship case to closing or moving one. If you have questions about filling out your paperwork and do not have an attorney please contact our Guardianship Facilitator.