Supported Decision Making CoverSupported Decision-Making is a set of strategies that help individuals with disabilities have more control over their life and future. It involves family and friends working together with individuals to support them in making complex decisions.

This guide provides important information about empowering individuals with disabilities to make informed decisions about their life that protect both their rights while ensuring their safety and privacy.

It is for: family members and friends who support individuals with disabilities;legal and education professionals; and service providers, including guardians or other supporters who work with people with disabilities.

Download the Supported Decision-Making Guide

Supported Decision-Making enables people with disabilities to ask for support where and when they need it. Powers of attorney, representative payees and simple release of information forms can also help families provide the needed supports and safeguards without going to court and imposing guardianship restrictions.

FAQ: Supported Decision-Making – a short summary of questions and answers about Supported Decision Making

Useful Forms

Sample Supported Decision Making Form

Power of Attorney for Health Care Form

Living Will Form: 

Power of Attorney for Finances Form:

Special Needs Trust


Wisconsin Guardianship Support Center provides legal information and resources to families and professionals regarding guardianships, alternatives to guardianship, powers of attorney, and other related issues.

The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making has resources, publications, and a state-by-state guide to information on Supported Decision-Making.

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) is a nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. It is a disability rights organization for the autistic community, advocating for systems change and providing a voice for autistic people.

American Bar Association offers The PRACTICAL Tool, which aims to help lawyers identify and implement decision-making options for persons with disabilities that are less restrictive than guardianship.

Family Voices of Wisconsin provides resources and support to make informed decisions, for more information and to print out publications, go to

Arc of Texas Supported Decision-Making Agreement. This document can serve as a sample for a family or individual in WI interested in setting up an agreement.

ABLE Accounts: Allows eligible individuals with disabilities to save money in a tax-exempt account that may be used for qualified disability expenses.  ABLE Accountshttp://

Special Needs Trust: Managed by a trustee. Funds must be used to benefit the individual. Can be set up through a bank or through WISPACT.  WISPACT Special Needs Trust

Social Security’s Representative Payment Program provides financial management for the Social Security and SSI payments of our beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their Social Security or SSI payments.  Representative Payee