Law Office of John S. Palmer Attorney at Law

(425) 455-5513

Mandatory Training for Lay Guardians in Washington

Posted Thursday, March 22, 2012 by John S. Palmer

It is common for a family member, and sometimes a friend, to serve as legal guardian for a loved one. Washington State requires such non-professional guardians to complete a standardized training video or web cast for lay guardians available through the administrative office of the courts. The training was developed to help ensure lay guardians understand their legal duties, such as the duty to file regular reports with the court, and notify the court of any change in circumstances.

Click here to access the free online training available through the Washington State Court’s website. It takes 3-4 hours to complete and at the conclusion of the process, the guardian will be able to print out a “Declaration of Completion of Guardian Training” to file with the court.

If possible, the training should be completed before initiating the guardianship proceeding, so that the Declaration of Completion can be filed with the Petition to Appoint Guardian, but the court may defer the completion of the training requirement to a date no later than ninety days after appointment if circumstances warrant.

Guardians appointed before the training was required must also undergo the training and submit a Declaration of Completion; however, the training may be waived for good cause if the court finds that the guardian already possesses the requisite knowledge to serve as a guardian without completing the training, taking into account the length of time the guardian has been serving the incapacitated person; whether the guardian has timely filed all required reports with the court; whether the guardian is monitored by other state or local agencies; and whether there have been any allegations of abuse, neglect, or a breach of fiduciary duty against the guardian.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (425) 455-5513, toll free at (877) 455-5513, or

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Law Office of John S. Palmer11911 NE 1st St, Ste. B204,Bellevue, WA 98005-3056