MADISON, WI– Last night, state Assembly members unanimously passed the
Guardian Training bill (AB 786) that provides free training for proposed
volunteer and family guardians. The training outlined in the bill includes the
duties and responsibilities of a guardian under the law, alternatives to
guardianship, rights retained by a ward, resources and technical support for
guardians, and other important features of Wisconsin’s guardianship law.
Under the bill, training would be required before someone is appointed as a

“Too often family members find themselves stepping into this role with little
advance planning or training,” said Robert Kellerman, Executive Director of the
Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources and Wisconsin Aging Advocacy
Network (WAAN) Chair, “many family members who become guardians do not
fully understand the extent of their role, responsibilities, and administrative
duties under Wisconsin law. Family members and community volunteers
willing to serve in this important role deserve our support. Providing training
and resource information to potential guardians will help them feel more
prepared and less overwhelmed and isolated.”

WAAN extends our appreciation to Rep. Zimmerman (R-River Falls) and Rep. B.
Meyers (D-Bayfield) for their leadership on this bill, and thanks all the
Assembly co-sponsors for their support of this bipartisan legislation. Assembly
co-sponsors who supported this bill include: Representatives Rohrkaste,
Anderson, Bowen, Dittrich, Edming, Emerson, Fields, Knodl, Kulp, Murphy,
Neubauer, Novak, Ohnstad, Pope, Rodriguez, Schraa, Shankland, Sinicki, Spiros,
Spreitzer, Stubbs, C. Taylor, Vruwink, Doyle, Goyke and Skowronski.

We appreciate the interest in and efforts of policymakers to address growing
concerns related to the impact of guardianships on older adults and people
with disabilities and look forward to working with Senate members on passage
of this legislation. WAAN supports continued work with state policymakers to
make implementation of this important training and support for guardians and
wards a reality in Wisconsin.

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