The Office of Substitute Decision Maker (OSDM) is established in Iowa Code (Chapter 231E) and strives to enhance the quality of life for Iowans who are not capable of making their own decisions about legal, financial or health care matters. Depending on the situation, the OSDM may act as an individual's guardian; conservator; attorney-in-fact under a health care power of attorney document; agent under a financial power of attorney document; personal representative; or representative payee.
The mission of the OSDM is to preserve individual independence through a person-centered process by:
Providing assistance to public and private substitute decision makers;
When necessary, assisting in substitute decision-making proceedings; and
Providing substitute decision-making services in the least restrictive manner.
The OSDM will only be appointed by the court as the substitute decision maker of last resort.
To be eligible, an individual must be an Iowa resident who is at least 18 years old and:
Have no appropriate or responsible person available to serve as a substitute decision maker; or
Be without adequate resources to compensate a substitute decision maker.