Alternatives to Guardianship and/or Conservatorship

The law requires the least restrictive measures be considered before appointment of a Guardian and/or Conservator.

Guardianship and/or conservatorship is intrusive and a person will lose many rights, such as the right

  • to vote
  • to drive or own a vehicle
  • to chose where to live
  • to consent to medical treatment
  • to make decisions about their money, etc.

The Maricopa County Public Fiduciary will always look for community alternatives to guardianship and/or conservatorship which would protect the individual’s autonomy, assist with needs, and maximize resources within the community. 


Here is a list of some of the many resources that should always be used before seeking a guardianship and/or conservatorship:

  • Surrogate Decision Maker - see A.R.S. 36-3231
  • Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Directive/Living Will
  • Court Order for Treatment
  • Office of Human Rights
  • Supportive Services through Medicaid/ Arizona Long Term Care
  • Supportive Services through Area Agency on Aging
  • Case Management Services
  • A Representative Payee
  • Special Needs Trust or other designated Trusts


There are also additional community programs such as:  

  • Day Treatment and Adult Day Healthcare
  • Maricopa County Senior Adult Independent Living program
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Subsidized individual or group housing
  • Community and/or church supports