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(1) In establishing an office of public guardianship, the legislature intends to promote the availability of guardianship and alternate services that provide support for decision making for individuals who need them and for whom adequate services may otherwise be unavailable. The legislature reaffirms its commitment to treat liberty and autonomy as paramount values for all Washington residents and to authorize public guardianship only to the minimum extent necessary to provide for health or safety, or to manage financial affairs, when the legal conditions for appointment of a guardian are met. It does not intend to alter those legal conditions or to expand judicial authority to determine that any individual is incapacitated.
(2) The legislature further recognizes that services that support decision making for people who have limited capacity can preserve individual liberty and provide effective support responsive to individual needs and wishes. The legislature also recognizes that these services may be less expensive than guardianship for the state, the courts, and for individuals with limited capacity and their families.
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