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Corporate Guardianship: Rules and Regulations

Corporate guardianships are regulated under Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 85.

They also must follow the regulations for:

Guardianship criteria

Wisconsin Admin. Code § DHS 85.01 sets criteria for guardians. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) uses the criteria to determine if a private, nonprofit corporation (organized under Wis. Stat. chs. 181, 187, or 188), or an unincorporated association, is suitable to perform the duties as a guardian. The proposed wards may be a person, an estate, or both.

Change of address, status, or ownership

Corporate guardianship agencies must notify the Wisconsin Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) of:

  • Changes of address, telephone number, or primary contact person for the agency.
  • If seeking to add more wards than were approved in its initial approval letter.
  • If ceasing operations, the corporate guardianship also must follow rules found under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 85.08 related to closures.
  • Changes in ownership or program manager position. The corporate guardianship also must submit a new license holder/legal representative background check.

Caregiver background checks

Visit Caregiver Background Checks for details and required forms.

See Corporate Guardianship Background Check Process, P-01926 (PDF) for more information about the required criminal background check. It also explains the process for corporate guardianship agencies and employees.

Other rules and regulations

Wisconsin client rights—Anyone who receives services for mental illness, a developmental disability, or substance abuse in the state of Wisconsin has specific rights under Wis. Stat. §§ 51.61 and 51.30 (State Alcohol, Drug Abuse, Developmental Disability, and Mental Health Act).

Advance directives—An advance directive describes, in writing, your choices about treatments you want or don’t want. It describes how health care decisions should be made for you if you become incapacitated and cannot express your wishes. See also Wis. Stat. ch. 154.

Adult protective servicesWis. Stat. ch. 55 aims to:

  • Establish protective services and protective placements.
  • Assure their availability to all who need them.
  • Place the least possible restriction on personal liberty and exercise of constitutional rights consistent with due process and protection from abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, and self-neglect.

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Last revised January 13, 2023