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Article II. Adult Guardianship
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This chapter will be governed by the following definitions, and all other terms shall be taken at their plain meaning:

“Accounting” means the entire document that must be filed with the Court, including a narrative report of the ward’s current financial circumstances and the schedules of income and expenses and property on hand that show the financial condition of the ward’s estate.

“Adult” means a person aged 18 years or older.

“Adult guardianship” means a type of court proceeding that may create different kinds of guardianships or conservatorships for the benefit of an adult.

“Advisor to the Court” means a person, not party to the case, with specialized expertise or knowledge selected by the Court for their assistance in, or recommendations for, resolving some aspect of the case.

“Certified copy” means a copy of a document filed with a court to which the Court Clerk has attached a certificate which includes a statement that the original of the document has been filed with the Court, and that the copy is a true and correct copy of the original. A certified copy of a document filed with a Court is often required by government agencies and others as proof that the original document exists and has been filed with the Court.

“Court investigator” means an investigator employed or appointed by the Court to assist judges in adult guardianship cases. A Court investigator visits and speaks with people involved in a guardianship, including the proposed ward and the proposed guardian, and reports their findings back to the Court. Once a guardianship has been created, the Court investigator may visit the ward periodically to see how things are going.

“Duty of care” means the requirement that a person act toward others and the public with the watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. If a person’s actions do not meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent, and any damages resulting may be claimed in a lawsuit for negligence.

“Elder” means:

(1) A citizen of the Yurok Tribe who is 55 years of age or older; or

(2) A person who resides on the Yurok Reservation who is 55 years of age or older to whom a Yurok Tribal member owes a duty of care because of traditional or familial ties.

“Good faith” means an honest and reasonable belief or purpose and the lack of intent to harm, defraud or injure.

“Guardian of the estate” means a person appointed by a court to manage another adult person’s financial resources to prevent and resist fraud or undue influence. A guardian of the estate manages a ward’s income, money, real property, or other property.

“Guardian of legal affairs” means a person that has “power of attorney” for another adult person.

“Guardian of the person” means a person appointed by a court to provide for another adult person’s personal needs such as medical, dental, the provision of food, clothing, and shelter.

“Guardianship of the estate” means removal of control over a person’s assets and financial affairs, and gives it to a third-party guardian.

“Guardianship of the person” means removal of decision-making authority and responsibility for personal decisions, including, but not limited to, choosing a residence, consenting to medical treatment, and making end-of-life decisions, and gives such authority to a third-party guardian.

“Immediate family” means any of the following: spouse, domestic partner, child, step-child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, parent’s sibling, and other persons considered immediate family as otherwise determined by law, including, but not necessarily limited to, Yurok Tribal law, custom, or traditions.

“Least restrictive alternative” means whenever it is necessary to protect an elder or vulnerable adult, the least restrictive method of intervention consistent with protecting their freedom and independence, while ensuring they are protected from harm, will be utilized.

“Letters of guardianship/conservatorship” means an order of the Court that identifies an appointed guardian, states that the guardian is authorized to act on the ward’s behalf, and indicates that the guardian has qualified for the position.

“Limited guardian” means a person that has guardianship responsibilities that are smaller in scope than a guardian of the person or guardian of the estate, typically an insular area(s) of responsibility. The scope of a limited guardian’s responsibilities will be on a case-by-case basis as ordered by the Yurok Tribal Court. For example, a limited guardian may be appointed to handle medical treatment but other duties under “guardianship of the person,” such as choosing a residence, may be assigned to another guardian or remain with the ward.

“Limited guardianship” means something created when a tailored solution is needed to fit the limited nature of the incapacity of the ward, limited capacity of the guardian, or division of responsibilities across multiple guardians. For example, a limited guardianship is appropriate if the proposed ward’s incapacities are limited in scope and the ability to function is only partially diminished. Because of the importance of self-autonomy and the fact that limited self-autonomy may be attained in these instances, the goal of a limited guardianship is to assist the incapacitated person in developing and attaining maximum self-reliance and independence. Limited guardianships can also be used to help divide responsibilities across multiple guardians.

“Power of attorney” means when an adult person is granted the power to act as an official agent for another adult person. This power may be expansive or limited in scope; for example, the power of attorney can be limited to the sale of a home or as expansive as power over all business and financial affairs. Power of attorney may also be limited in duration; for example, only while a person is medically incapacitated. Finally, power of attorney may take effect immediately or upon the occurrence of a future event.

“Proposed ward” means an adult person that is alleged to be incapacitated in a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding or an adult person that is seeking to use this chapter for estate planning in case of future incapacitation.

“Representative payee” and “financial guardian” means a representative payee can be a person or an organization. A representative payee can receive financial benefits (such as elder payments, per capita payments, and Social Security benefits) for anyone who cannot manage or direct the management of their benefits. A representative payee’s main duties are to use the benefits to pay for the current and future needs of the beneficiary and properly manage any benefits not needed to meet current needs. A representative payee must also keep records of expenses and must provide an accounting of how the benefits were used or managed to Tribal Court upon request and/or as required by the Court.

“Retaliation” means intimidation/harassment or a threat to cause bodily harm or causing bodily harm to a reporter or family of a person reporting elder abuse; causing or attempting to cause the reporter or reporter’s family to be terminated, suspended, or reprimanded by an employer; or causing property damage to real or personal property belonging to a reporter’s family.

“Status review hearing” means a status review hearing is a regular reoccurring/scheduled hearing to check on the status of the ward and guardianship, including the need to continue the wardship/guardianship status. It is used to determine whether Court orders are being followed, address any issues that have occurred, and plan for future changes to Court orders.

“Temporary guardian” means an adult person appointed by a court to manage some aspect of another adult person’s medical, legal, business, financial, or other affairs on a temporary basis.

“Temporary guardianship” means a guardianship that can encompass some or all aspects of a guardianship of the estate and/or guardianship of the person. However, a temporary guardianship may only be created for emergency situations or in situations of temporary incapacity and may last no longer than three months.

“Vulnerable adult” means an adult who exceeds the age of 18 and is unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect, or exploitation. This includes the person who is unable to make responsible decisions for themselves because of mental illness or deficiency, physical disability or illness, age- related capacity issues, or the effects of chronic use of alcohol and/or drugs.

“Ward” means an adult person that has been appointed a guardian, or is subject to a type of guardianship or conservatorship by a court. [Ord. 74 § 4009, adopted, 8/26/2021.]