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How can I get immediate guardianship of my 27 yo daughter?

Seattle, WA |

Daughter is recently diagnosed bipolar, has been hospitalized 3 times in the last 30 days, they keep letting her out because she's not cutting herself, but when she goes manic, she disappears for days, consumes alcohol and participates in extremely risky behavior. She was recently raped and physically assaulted. It is believed she is bipolar, with anxiety, depression and possibly PTSD, no doubt this will kill her if I cannot intervene immediately. What can I do?

She is also an alcoholic, is not taking her medication for the bipolar regularly, and will go days without eating. She has not reached a therapeutic level with her lithium levels yet. HELP!

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Attorney answers 2


The best course of action would be to hire an attorney to start guardianship proceedings as soon as possible. Due to your daughter's condition and youth, there is a good chance she will not be pleased by a guardianship and may try to contest it. This is why it is in both of your best interests to do it right the first time.

This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit


Guardianships take time. A guardian ad litem (GAL) is appointed by the court to write a report, and the GAL has to get a medical report for the judge to consider. Generally, guardianships take at least 45 days. Guardianships are disfavored. A power of attorney is often sufficient to avoid a guardianship. The person has a right to hire a lawyer and contest a guardianship in a jury trial, so one must initiate a guardianship carefully and thoughtfully. I suggest you consult with a guardianship attorney who can give you specific advice concerning this difficult situation.

One other thought: with bi-polar disease, your daughter may choose to have a mental health directive under RCW 71.32.

This information is intended as general information only, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please seek particular advice from an attorney.