Guardianship Duties: Keeping Good Records

pen and ledger

We had a shoe box full of receipts with check numbers on every single receipt for everything we’ve ever spent. That’s not good enough. You need to have it listed where you can just go in and quickly access it, otherwise it’s going to take hours and hours.
—Diane Evans, Parent

It takes a lot of organization to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to fill out the required forms for lay (non-professional) guardianship. The following tips come from parents who offer some good ideas for saving a little time and frustration when those guardianship reports are due.

Tips for Guardianship Record Keeping

  • Consider purchasing a simple record and accounting software program,
    such as Excel or Quicken. At the very least, record all expenses paid and
    reimbursements made in a record-keeping book. Keep all your receipts.
  • Organize proposed budget and expenditures by category, such as:
    medical, food, transportation, entertainment, rent, utilities, and purchases
    that don’t fit into other categories (e.g., furniture or credit card payments).
    Find out what your county requires.
  • Make a copy of everything submitted to the court. When it is time to
    renew the guardianship, you’ll known which forms you need to download
    and what additional information you need to submit.
  • Report significant changes in income or expenses to the court when they
    occur. You’ll need the court’s approval to update or revise a budget.
  • Prepare your court reports. Initial and annual reports must be filed within
    90 days after the date you were appointed guardian.
  • Check with your county court for the due date of your report.

Required Guardianship Forms

NOTE: Check your county court website for county-specific requirements.

Within First 90 days of Guardianship

  • Initial Personal Care Plan (Guardianship of the Person): The individual’s needs, available resources, and what your plan will be to meet the identified needs.
  • Guardianship Inventory (Guardianship of the Estate): Assets such as real estate, personal property, bank account balance, monthly income, liabilities/debts.
  • Proposed Budget (Guardianship of the Estate).
  • Designation of a Standby Guardian (All).

Periodic (annually, or up to every 3 years, as directed by the court)

  • Guardian’s Report Accounting and Proposed Budget (All).
  • Periodic Personal Care Plan (Guardianship of the Person).

Additional Resources

Disability Rights Washington


Guardianship Recordkeeping Bulletin screen shot

Printable Bulletin (PDF)


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