Guardianship Rules Changing January 1, 2022

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GUARDIANSHIP LAW CHANGES EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022

What happens to the prior laws?

The laws that apply to adult guardianships prior to 2022, RCW 11.88 and RCW 11.92, will no longer be in effect on January 1, 2022.

The new law, RCW 11.130, will cover all guardianships, conservatorships and protective arrangements as of January 1, 2022

There may be limited circumstances when a court may find that following the new law would substantially interfere with a guardianship proceeding or prejudice (influence in a negative way) the rights of a party. The court may consider the prior law in that event.

Are all existing guardianships under the new law? Yes. The new law applies to all guardianships starting on January 1, 2022, no matter when the guardianship case began.

All reports due after January 1, 2022 will need to be on the new forms and comply with the new law.

Terminology Changes

Old Law                                                             New Law -Effective 1/1/2022

Guardian of the Person                                    Guardian of the Person

Guardian of the Estate                                     Conservator

Letters of Guardianship                                    Letters of Office

Guardian Ad Litem                                            Court Visitor

What does this mean for You?

The new adult guardianship, conservatorship and other protective arrangements law becomes effective on January 1, 2022.

The 2022 annual reporting will be on new forms. These new forms are mandatory including formatting, single sided, blue or black ink or typed. Please staple, DO NOT USE paper or binder clips.

COVID Policies remain in place pending further notice.

New forms are currently available on the Administrative Office of the Courts website – www.courts.wa.gov/forms .

Cowlitz County Superior Court will begin implementation of the new law on your case when your 2022 annual reporting comes due.

The Court or the Superior Court Clerk cannot give you legal advice.

If you have questions on how to comply with the new law, you should contact an attorney or legal aid program at 45-60 days before your reports are due. 

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