Indiana Judge Approves First Supported Decision Making Agreement

“Under the Supported Decision Making agreement, Ms. Beck, will select a team to assist her and determine how they will advise her in areas such as finances, healthcare, legal matters and housing, much like parents, family members and friends do for just about anyone making important life choices. In the end, though, the choices now are legally hers, which she said isn’t the least bit scary.”

The article further states, “only Texas; Maine; Wisconsin; Washington, D.C.; Tennessee; Missouri; and Alaska have enacted Supported Decision Making laws, said Melissa Keyes, the legal director for Indiana Disability Rights. Indiana, which has about 7,000 adults under court-ordered guardianship, would need to change state statutes to accept Supported Decision Making as a statewide program.

“We are pushing to enact Supported Decision Making here in Indiana and have it recognized as a tool to use when planning for futures,” said Keyes, who acted as Beck’s attorney during Wednesday’s hearing.  Keyes said Supported Decision Making is a three-pronged option for adults. The first option would be recognizing the appropriateness of the program for an individual before even entering a court case. The second is to recognize the appropriateness in time to avoid guardianship. And the third, like for Beck, is to recognize when people under guardianship no longer need guardianship.