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Archive for November, 2009

Accountability of the Legal Profession — Guardianship

November 27, 2009 2 comments

The non-profit organization Help Abolish Legal Tyranny (www.Halt.org) provides insightful commentary, activism, and how-to guides for many areas of law, focusing on creating accountability for the legal profession. While some of the statements are unfair and general, the guides are professional and informative and the goals worthy.

In the area of estate planning, several guides provide information on how to ensure one’s rights are met in the cheapest and most fair way possible.

For example, a guide on guardianship, easily found on the documents section under estate planning, warns potential wards (those deemed by courts to require a guardian) of dangers inherent in having a guardian represent their interests. Many jurisdictions are cited for failing to track the actions of guardians and require yearly reports by guardians, among other things.

Washington state has a commendable record in the areas cited by Halt as being inadequate in many other states. First, Washington, among a few other states, requires licensure of professional guardians through testing and courses. Second, only Washington and Arizona have offices created specifically for the reporting of abuse. In Washington, this is the Washington State Certified Professional Guardian Board — http://www.courts.wa.gov/programs_orgs/guardian/).

This pattern of Washington setting an example of better accountability among legal professionals is demonstrated throughout the halt.org website.

Watch for Part 2: Living Trusts

Feel free to visit me at http://www.jcochranelaw.com !

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