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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal process, utilized when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his/her person and/or property or has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence. Because establishing a guardianship may remove considerable rights from an individual, it should only be considered after alternatives to guardianship have proven ineffective or are unavailable.

Mary is a Nationally Certified Guardian and is often Court-appointed to serve as Guardian for individuals who can no longer make their own decisions.


Is there a way to avoid the court process of Guardianship?

Guardianship is considered a "last resort" in terms of providing appropriate protection for an incapacitated person. Whenever possible, a person should be in charge of their own healthcare and placement decisions. Oftentimes, people do not have family or their family circumstances may be such that they do not wish to name family members as their Agent under a Power of Attorney.

As an experienced Surrogate Decision Maker, Mary Galvez often provides Healthcare Power of Attorney services, serving as Agent for her clients.

What are Court Visitor Services?

In New Mexico, a Court Visitor is appointed when a Guardianship or Conservatorship petition is filed with the Court. The Court Visitor is responsible for investigating and making recommendations to the Court. The Court Visitor evaluates the needs of the Alleged Incapacitated Person and the appropriateness of the proposed Guardian or Conservator. Mary frequently serves as Court Visitor in cases in many New Mexico District Courts. She has a great deal of experience assessing and reporting on such cases.

What are Care Management Services? 

A professional Geriatric Care Manager (GCM) is a health and human services specialist who helps families who are caring for older relatives. The GCM is trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology.

In what areas can a Care Manager assist?

  • Care-planning assessments to identify problems, eligibility for assistance, and need for services;
  • Screening, arranging, and monitoring of in-home help or other services;
  • Referral to appropriate professionals for financial, legal, or medical issues;
  • Crisis intervention;
  • Acting as a liaison to families at a distance, making sure things are going well and alerting families to problems;
  • Assistance in moving an older person to or from a retirement complex, care home, or nursing home;
  • Consumer education and advocacy;
  • Support to clients and their families.

Resources: Learn More

At GCMS, we do recommend that our potential clients learn as much as they need to about guardianship. We have affiliations with multiple organizations and Ms. Galvez is certified through several organizations. Please take a look at our "library" below to learn more about guardianship.

National Guardianship Association


National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers


New Mexico Guardianship Association 


Aging Life Care Association


Alzheimer's Association


New Mexico Estate Planning Council


Senior Citizens Law Office


Care Management Society of America


What people are saying...

“Mary exhibits detailed judgment and a keen sense of appropriateness in evaluating and working with my clients and their families. I highly recommend Mary to any one seeking guardian, visitor and case management services.”

- Laurie, local elderlaw attorney

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