The Role of the Advocate
To be an advocate is to attract another to one’s viewpoint. Court-appointed Guardians and Conservators are advocates
on behalf of those under their charge. The Public Fiduciary expects that his staff advocate effectively through
rational persuasion that is based on the facts presented. Advocacy may go to housing, medical care, level of services,
financial relief, and a host of other issues.
Third parties who deal with a Guardian or Conservator should bear in mind that it is the Guardian and Conservator’s
responsibility to act only in the best interests of the ward and protected person. Therefore, they endeavor to call
the third party to an understanding of what that best interest may be. At the same time, Guardians and Conservators
understand that third parties may have other interests to protect. When there is impassable disagreement, Guardians
and Conservators are instructed to follow grievance and appeal review processes in furtherance of the ward or
protected person’s best interests and in a continuing effort to foster resolution. Guardians and Conservators have
an ethical obligation to act in this manner. The Public Fiduciary expects that third parties understand that the
system affords review processes with the intent that resolution may ultimately be achieved.
The code of conduct that governs a Guardian’s and Conservator’s activity requires that they act at the same time vigorously
and cooperatively in the best interest of the ward and protected person. Therefore, the Public Fiduciary and his staff
enter into the discussion in a manner oppositional (polemically), peaceful (irenically), and one of inquiry (elenchtical).
The goal is to “get it right.”