Iowa

Guardianship Laws

Adult Guardianship Statute: 
Right to Counsel in Statute: Initial Guardianship Proceedings: 
Yes
Right to Counsel in Statute: Post-Appointment Guardianship Proceedings: 
Yes, Conditional
Right to Counsel Statututory Citation: 
Right to Counsel Definition in Statute: 

Proposed ward is entitled to representation; and "if the court determines that it would be in the ward's best interest to have legal representation with respect to any proceedings in a guardianship, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the ward."

Advocacy Role of Counsel Defined in Statute: 
Not stated
Professional Rules &/or Ethics Opinions: 

IRPC Rule 32:1.14: (a)  When a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment, or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client. (b)   When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial, or other harm unless action is taken, and cannot adequately act in the client’s own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator, or guardian.</p

Case Law Discussing Role of Counsel: 

The statutorily-required representation by counsel is not fulfilled if the ward's counsel fulfills the duties provided of a GAL. In re Guardianship of Griesinger, 804 N.W.2d 527, 529 (2011).

Other Important Info: 

Attorney appointed shall represent the proposed ward, ensure the proposed ward is properly advised of his/her rights and the nature and purpose of the proceedings and ensure the guardianship procedures conform to the statutory and due process requirements of Iowa law.  See IRPC-Rule 32-1.14

Discuss Guardianship or Supported Decision-Making?: 
Yes