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Guardianship Definitions

ADRC – Aging and Disability Resource Center (located at Marinette County Health and Human Services Building – 2500 Hall Avenue, Marinette, Wisconsin  715-732-3850)
AFH – Adult family home, up to four non-related individuals living together. There are two types of AFH:
  • The traditional or owner occupied (OO) – the owner of the home provides assistance to non-related individuals. The traditional AFH is typically certified by either the county or a managed care organization. If the traditional home serves more than two individuals, the home must be licensed by the State of Wisconsin Division of Quality Assurance.
  • Corporate – an agency provides shift staff to provide assistance for individuals. These are typically three to four bed homes and licensed by the State. 
Adversary Counsel – The attorney appointed by the Court to represent the ward’s wishes if the ward is objecting to a guardianship related court proceeding.

Annual Accounting – The guardian must complete a detailed accounting of how the ward’s money was spent. This accounting is due by April 15th of each year and MUST be submitted by the guardian. The accounting requires all income be reported, how the money was spent, and a report of the total assets on hand at the end of the accounting period (see page 14 for more details).
CBRF – Community based residential facilities: referred to as a group home, with five (5) or more unrelated people living together. The CBRF is licensed by the State of Wisconsin Department of Quality Assurance (DQA).
Chapter 51 – The chapter of the Wisconsin State Statute that explains a mental health commitment process.
Chapter 54 – The chapter of the Wisconsin State Statute that explains the guardianship process.
Chapter 55 – The chapter of the Wisconsin State Statute that explains a protective placement process.
Corporation Counsel – The attorney (legal office of the county) that represent Marinette County.
DHHS – The Marinette County Department of Health and Human Services (located at 2500 Hall Avenue, Marinette, Wisconsin  715-732-3850).
GAL or Guardian ad Litem – The attorney appointed by the court to represent the ward’s BEST INTERESTS. The ward/guardian cannot choose the GAL.
Guardian – An individual or agency appointed by the court to act in the ward’s best interests. This may include making decisions for health care, living environments, and managing all financial and property affairs.
  • Co-Guardian – 2 individuals appointed by the Court to act individually or together in the ward’s best interest.
  • Standby Guardian – An individual(s) appointed by the Court to act in the ward’s best interest when the guardian(s) can no longer act. Until the standby guardian is activated by the Court, he/she has no legal authority to act.
  • Successor Guardian – An individual(s) appointed by the Court upon the death, removal, or resignation of the acting guardian.
  • Temporary Guardian – An individual(s) appointed by the Court for a limited time period with specific duties.
Incompetent: A person adjudged by a court of record to be substantially incapable of managing his or her property or caring for him/herself by reason of infirmities of aging, developmental disabilitities or other like incapacities. Physical disability without mental incapacity is not sufficient to establish incompetence.

Medicaid (also known as MA/Medical Assistance/Title 19) – A government insurance program for individuals. In order to qualify, individuals must meet ongoing asset requirements. Currently the limit is $2,000 in total assets, unless on MAPP (Medicaid Assistance Purchase Plan), Katie Beckett, or Badgercare.
Medicare – A federal entitlement program for citizens over the age of 65 and individuals with disabilities. This covers parts A, B, C, and D.
  • Part A:  Hospital coverage.
  • Part B:  Outpatient medical services.
  • Part C:  A network plan (Medicare Advantage) that the federal government pays for private health coverage.
  • Part D:  Covers outpatient prescription drugs through private plans. 
Ombudsman – A person who protects and promotes the rights of long-term care recipients, working with consumers and their families to achieve quality care and quality of life. The Ombudsman Program, by statute, has authority to have contact with any residents and tenants of a Wisconsin nursing homes, CBRFs, RCAC, and those involved in Family Care programs (see page 16 - Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long Term Care-Ombudsman Program).

Protective Placement – A procedure (and resulting order) under Chapter 55 of the Wisconsin State Statutes, whereby the court directs placement of a ward who is under guardianship to a particular placement facility or to a particular type of care facility based upon the care needs of the individual.
Register in Probate (Probate) – The Marinette County office responsible for maintaining records of all guardianship, protective placements, or mental health matters. All records are kept sealed or confidential and not open for public inspection. The office is also responsible for ensuring guardians complete the required annual accounting and report on condition of the ward. While this office may answer questions about how to complete the forms, they cannot assist in completing the documents.
Room and Board – A monthly payment for living expenses the ward is responsible for which includes rent, groceries, and utilities.

Ward – An individual for whom a guardian has been appointed.