Supported Decision Making and Guardianship Termination

Photo of John McCarty

John McCarty is a self-advocate from Georgia and a 2019-2020 SARTAC Fellow. John’s project focused on educating people about supported decision making and creating resources to help self-advocates get started. On October 26, 2020, John did a presentation describing his resources.

During his fellowship work, John used supported decision making to terminate his own guardianship and developed resources from that experience to guide others who seek to do the same. John worked in partnership with Creative Consulting Services, the Georgia Advocacy Office and Self-Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center.

Guardianship Termination

1. “Begin the Guardianship Termination Process” — This is the contact information for GAO and includes the fact that an attorney is needed as well as other pertinent information and documents. Click here for contact information for other States’ Protection and Advocacy offices.

2. “Questions to ask a potential attorney for guardianship termination” — This is the list of questions developed with a probate judge and two attorneys. Purpose of this list is to help someone determine if a particular attorney is the right person to help them with their petition.

3. “Court Ordered Evaluation – How to Prepare” — This is the discussion of the types of questions that might come in a court-ordered evaluation and a mention of what instruments are sometimes used by the courts.

4. “Sample Questions that may be asked during a guardianship termination court appearance” — Each appearance in court will be different based upon circumstances and attorney, but this list is a good starting point and can be used to practice.

Getting Started with Supported Decision Making 
1. “Some Helpful Resources to Start Supported Decision Making” — This list is brief and a subset of the information available. I found these to be the most helpful in developing my own plan as well as sharing during my presentations to support coordinators and self-advocates, as well as other stakeholders.

2. “Sample Supported Decision Making Supporter Letter” — This letter can be used as-is, or edited; it is intended to start a conversation with supporters.

3. “Brainstorming Sample Questions – What do you know?” — This list of questions is to start the process of examining what you may already know about each of the categories where you may want support; this is not an exhaustive list, but a place to get started.

PowerPoint: Who’s in Charge Here? – This presentation and script (embedded in PowerPoint notes) is a description of what supported decision making is and how to get started. This includes brief information about terminating guardianship and how Supported Decision Making plays a role.


  1. The Process of Terminating Guardianship
  2. Why Supported Decision Making Matters
  3. Parent Perspective on Supported Decision Making


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