Every industry has its own shorthand. People in the business usually don’t realize they are speaking another language to outsiders. Until someone says, “What in the world are you saying?”, people will just keep talking in acronyms. In the world of guardianship there are so many of these initialisms that a person could almost communicate an entire sentence without saying a complete word.
Welcome, then, to the shorthand of Guardianship. Here is your primer:
Private Professional Guardian (PPG)
This is a person that is paid or where guardianship is their profession. They are certified guardians.
GAL-Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)
A court-appointed person, usually a licensed attorney, with the sole responsibility of advocating for the best interest of a ward.
Attorney Ad Litem (AAL)
A court-appointed attorney that will represent the ward’s wishes.
Guardian of Estate (GOE)
The person who is appointed by a judge to be in control of the ward’s property and finances.
GOP-Guardian of Person (GOP)
The person who is appointed by a judge to be in control of the ward’s person. This usually includes determining residence, medical care, employment, and visitation rights for the ward.
Annual Report (AP)
A document completed by the GOP which provides information about the ward’s personal status, and any actions taken by the guardian in the past year.
AA-Annual Accounting (AA)
A document filed with the court by the GOE which accounts for disbursements of the ward’s property over which the guardian has control.
TxCG-Texas Certified Guardian (TxCG)
Professionals who are certified to be guardians in the state of Texas.
National Certified Guardian (NCG)
These individuals have taken and passed a test to be a nationally certified guardian.
TGA-Texas Guardianship Association (TGA)
This is an association that helps support and promote guardians across the state of Texas, which includes both certified and non-certified guardians.
JBCC-Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC)
This is part of the Office of Court Administration that oversees the certification, registration, and licensing of, among other things, guardians, and guardianship programs.
The foregoing list includes the most common initialisms, but of course there are a lot more. It is easy to see how one could get lost in a conversation. Even after over 20 years in the industry I have to ask people to slow down so I can interpret the “soup”. I have an attorney friend who I often ask to slow down so I can catch up with the lingo. It is okay to ask people to slow down, or ask them to explain what they are saying, not only in guardianship matters, but in anything. Every industry has their “soup,” so I like to say: “When in doubt, please spell it out.”
Hammerle Finley Offers Guardianship Services
Hammerle’s unique Guardian Services program is one of the only guardianship and care management programs within the state of Texas that is hosted by a sought-after law firm. There are numerous benefits to the client and their family through this unique relationship, such as highly qualified and trained staff, access to legal advice and direction, and an additional level of oversight and accountability.
Courtney Carey is a Texas Certified Guardian and a Care Manager, with experience in Texas Medicaid waiver programs, intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health, and geriatrics. This column does not constitute legal advice.