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Public Guardianship

The Tennessee Public Guardianship for the Elderly program ensures the health and welfare of some of the state’s most vulnerable residents by serving as the court-appointed guardian for individuals age 60 and over who, due to physical or mental limitations, are unable to make personal decisions regarding their health and financial resources.

The court utilizes the program as a public option of last resort for individuals who have no other family member, friend, bank or corporation willing, able or suitable to act on their behalf. Entrusted since 1986, this program is funded by the state of Tennessee and administrated by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. The program is available in all 95 counties through the local grantee agency of the Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD). There are nine district public guardians throughout the state. 

  • Some people may pay a fee based on their income or resources.
  • If a person is low-income, they do not pay for this service. 
  • If a person qualifies for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), they do not pay. 
  • The public guardian, or conservator, cannot file the initial petition for conservatorship.


Questions? Contact James Holmes, State Public Guardian Coordinator, at 615-253-3967.