In Washington, guardians may be appointed to assist and protect a person who is legally unable to manage their own affairs because of an incapacity. Guardians are placed in a high position of trust and owe the greatest duty of care to that incapacitated person.
Washington has three types of guardianships. A professional guardian is court-appointed, cannot be a member of the incapacitated person's family and charges fees and carries out these duties for at least three people. A public guardian is a professional guardian who provides these services for the Office of Public Guardianship when no one else can serve as guardian. A lay guardian is a member of the incapacitated person's family.