Q.I cannot come to the office, does your organization conduct home visits?
A.GLSC-DLC staff conduct home visits if needed and if the location is safe from an alleged abuser (when applicable). The wait time for an appointment might be a little longer due staff availability.
Q.Am I eligible for your services?
A.To receive services under our:
Protection and Advocacy programs (P&A), the issue must be related to the disability. Other factors which may affect eligibility for services include:
- the type of assistance needed;
- the effect on your life, health, or safety;
- and the availability of other programs to address your issue.
Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) grant program, the individual must be a victim of a crime and the relief sought must be related to the alleged crime.
Q.Do I have to pay for your services?
A.You do not have to pay for our services. However, depending on if program funds are available, there may be certain costs, such as court fees, publication fees, and fees for service of documents that you might be required to pay. Where possible, we will ask for a waiver or reduction of fees.
Q.What is the difference between a power of attorney (POA) and guardianship?
A. A power of attorney is a legal documented created by one person (principle) to give a family member or friend (attorney-in-fact) legal power to act on behalf of the principle. For example, complete tasks on behalf of the principle, including cash checks, receive bank statement, and apply for public benefits. The principle still has the power to do their business, but an attorney-in-fact helps them with various responsibilities. The court is not involved, and the paperwork is signed in-front of a notary.
A guardianship is needed when an individual cannot make rational and intelligent decisions on their own, especially regarding healthcare or finances. The guardian will make all personal and/or financial decisions for the individual (ward). A guardianship can only be granted by the court, and the guardian will need to submit accounting reports once a year. The proposed guardian will have to submit a “Guardianship Plan” on a court form as part of the petition to be appointed guardian. The court also requires the guardians to attend the Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS) Training within 90 days after the Guardianship is granted.
Q.What kind of power of attorney (POA) does your office help with?
A.We have specific durable power of attorney which lists specific actions that one person (attorney-in-fact) can do on behalf of another person (the principal). The durable power of attorney will work even if the individual becomes incapacitated (unable to understand what is going on due to a mental or physical condition.
Q.Will a power of attorney (POA) document still work for my family if I am deceased?
A.No, the power of attorney is invalid once the individual (principle) has passed away.
Q.Can your office help me with a will?
A.Unfortunately, we do not assist with wills at this time.
Q.Can your office help me with war claims?
A.Unfortunately, we do not assist with war claims at this time.
Q.How long will it take to get the services?
A.It depends on the type of case a person is seeking. We also take into consideration any safety issues and deadlines that exist in a person’s case and the resources we have available. There is no specific time guideline for this process but we will complete it as we reasonably can.
Q.How long does it take to get the Protective Order?
A.The amount of time varies with each case. We work on it as soon as possible.
Q.What documents should I bring with me?
A.A current valid photo ID such as passport, driver’s license, or state ID. Other documents will be required according to the services which you are seeking. At a minimum, a certificate of disability is required in all the Protection & Advocacy cases. To the best of your ability, please bring any documents that you may believe to be relevant to the issue to which you are seeking help.
Q.Do I have to go to court?
A.In most situations, you may need to go to court. However, in such matters as Powers of Attorneys and Advocacy cases, you may not need to go to court.
Q.Can I take the application home?
A.No. We cannot permit that. Our grantors require that the documents do no leave the office and are available for grantor review at any time. These documents remain confidential while in the office, but lose their confidentiality if taken out of the office.
Q.I was told your office is not able to assist me because of a conflict of interest. What is a conflict of interest?
A.We serve in the best interest of our clients. If you are our client, we can help you… but NOT the person you are against. If we help them, that would not be in your best interest. That is a “conflict of interest”. Lawyers are not allowed to accept cases where there is a conflict of interest.
If we find that there is a conflict of interest when you apply, we are not allowed to tell you what the conflict is because that is confidential information. All we can tell you is that there is a conflict.
Q.How long do you have to be a resident of Guam to receive services?
A.It varies according to the services needed.
Q.Do you provide free consultation?
A.Yes, after applying for services.
Q.Do you provide interpreters?
Q.Can I set up an appointment to speak to an attorney?
A.As long as you already accepted as our client in the case that you are trying to speak to your attorney about.
Q.Are you open during lunch?
Q.Is your office open after a disaster?
A.We follow procedures similar to the Government of Guam. Follow us on Facebook for updates.
Q.Is your office ADA accessible?
Q.What if I am unable to sign documents?
A.We will review alternative signature procedures with you, such as thumbprints.
Q.Limits to Who We Can Serve?
A.GLSC-DLC is a private, non-profit organization, with limited staff and financial resources. In addition, many of our state and federal grants or contracts have specific criteria about the populations we can serve through those programs. Although we would like to provide advocacy for everyone who needs it, GLSC-DLC cannot provide direct advocacy services to everyone who contacts us.
Please note that we cannot provide assistance in the following areas:
- Any problem not directly related to a person’s disability
- Any issue for a person who already has an attorney working on the same issue
- Criminal law
- Off-island issues
- Worker’s compensation
- General medical malpractice and personal injury
- General consumer and bankruptcy issues
- Anything against the wishes of the person with the disability