Home 9 Podcast 9 Together We PLAN – Episode Three. Beyond Guardianship: Exploring Supported Decision Making

Episode Three: Beyond Guardianship: Exploring Supported Decision Making

With special guests Nina Weiss, Esq., Joseph B. Young, Esq. and Elizabeth G. Farishian, RN, MA, host Ellen Nalven

Our third episode, “Beyond Guardianship: Exploring Supported Decision Making,” is crucial for families navigating the complexities of guardianship, alternatives, and supported decision-making for individuals with disabilities. It sheds light on the delicate balance between providing legal and financial protection while preserving the individual’s right to self-determination. For anyone looking to understand the nuances of guardianship, the potential for less restrictive alternatives, and the emerging practice of supported decision-making, this episode offers invaluable insights and expert opinions from our distinguished guests.

Key Takeaways
1.     Guardianship Options and Alternative Legal Protections for People with Disabilities: Examining when full guardianship is essential and exploring potential alternatives that respect the individual’s autonomy.

2.     Supported Decision Making: Discussing the definitions, benefits, and challenges of supported decision-making as an alternative to guardianship.

3.     Educational Needs for Families and Legal Professionals: Highlighting the urgent need for education among families and professionals regarding guardianship and its alternatives.

4.     The Role of Legal Representation: The critical importance of the court-appointed attorney’s role in advocating for the least restrictive alternatives to guardianship.

“Beyond Guardianship: Exploring Supported Decision Making” is the third of nine episodes in Together We PLAN. This podcast series covers a variety of critical issues, including Special Needs Trusts, mental health, housing, guardianship, supported decision-making, and other topics relevant to PLAN|NJ’s mission of supporting people with disabilities. Each episode aims to inform, engage, and inspire action towards creating a more inclusive and supportive community.

We invite our audience to join us on this enlightening journey. Your participation is crucial as we tackle these important topics. Stay tuned for future episodes where we’ll continue to explore, discuss, and advocate for meaningful change in the world of disability support. Please join us in our mission to advocate, educate, and empower – your engagement and support can make a significant impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families.

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our story

"A Talk With Families"

The stories of three families with loved ones who have disabilities and who use PLAN|NJ's trust administration and care coordination services are told through interviews conducted in their homes by Executive Director Ellen Nalven.


Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey PLAN|NJ
PO Box 547
Somerville, NJ 08876-0547
908-575-8300 (Phone)
908-927-9010 (Fax)


Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities
Association of People Supporting Employment First
Alliance for Pooled Trusts
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Guardianship Association
National PLAN Alliance
Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey


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PLAN|NJ = Lifetime Advocacy for People with Disabilities



PLAN|NJ’s mission is to help family members of people with disabilities answer the question:

“Who will care for my loved one when I'm gone?”

We coordinate the supports needed by individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities, and challenges with mental health, including people with autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, severe mental illness and more.

Spanish Translation

Si usted habla español y quisiera mas información sobre nuestros servicios o si desea una consulta con PLAN\NJ, por favor comuníquese con
Nancy Dilliplane, Director of Trust Services, para asistencia bilingüe:  908-575-8300, extensión 15