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The bill would add a chapter to the Estates Code and establish a voluntary supported decision-making agreement (SDMA) between an adult with a disability and a supporter who accommodates an adult to enable them to make life decisions. The bill would require the SDMA to be signed in the presence of a notary public or two or more subscribing witnesses who are at least 14 years old. The bill would create an outline for a valid SDMA.
The SDMA would be terminated if the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) finds the adult with a disability has been abused, neglected, or exploited by the supporter; or if the supporter is found criminally liable for the aforementioned conduct. Otherwise, the SDMA ends when it is terminated by either party or by the agreed upon date.
The objective of the legislation is to recognize a less restrictive alternative to guardianship for adults with disabilities who need assistance with decisions regarding daily living but who are not considered incapacitated persons for purposes of establishing a guardianship. Establishing a SDMA empowers adults with disabilities to exercise their decision-making rights without coercion which promotes our individual liberty and personal responsibility principles. We support SB 1881.