About the Firm
Dawning Horizons Advocacy was founded by Dawn R. Walters, Arizona Licensed Fiduciary and Master Guardian, who has been directly and actively engaged as Founder, Principal, and Director of owner-operated fiduciary firms since 2004.
The new brand was launched to more accurately reflect the expanding services our well-established firm offers to our clients. When Dawn ventured into the fiduciary field over ten years ago she immediately knew this was the right field for her, yet had no idea how the business would expand to encompass so many different facets of acting on behalf of our clients and wards. Almost nobody outside the probate professions understands the terms “fiduciary” or “guardian” when applied to the individuals we serve. However, no matter what our legal designation as it relates to our clients and their families, it can always be accurately conveyed in one term that they all understand: Your advocate.
As the business has grown and matured, it is ironic and contradictory that a business with “guardianship” in its name began every referral with an attempt to find alternatives to guardianship and, in many cases, ended up acting in the alternate role we identified in that analysis. We realized that we had, quite simply, outgrown our label. This led to the decision to re-launch our firm as Dawning Horizons Advocacy.
While still providing court appointed guardian and conservator services in Maricopa and Yuma Counties, the services have expanded over the years to include private care coordination, consulting, assessments, agent under Powers of Attorney of all kinds (medial, mental health, financial), and Trustee including Special Needs and Income-Only (“Miller”) Trusts.
About Our Founder
Dawn is credentialed by the Arizona Supreme Court as a Licensed Fiduciary in Private Practice. She carried the designation from the National Guardianship Association as a National Certified Guardian from 2006 to 2011. On November 30, 2011 she was honored to attain the title of National Master Guardian. National credentials are voluntary, and represent a commitment to the highest standards of practice and professionalism.
National Master Guardian is the highest credential available in the fiduciary field. It represents a demonstrated mastery in all aspects of the guardianship practice, professional recommendations, an impeccable professional record, a stringent application process, and successful completion of an intensive exam, graded by a panel of National Guardians, which tests for the highest level of competency across the full spectrum of the practice. There are few Master Guardians nationwide and only a handful in the State of Arizona.
Dawn was elected to the Board of Directors for the Arizona Fiduciaries Association on February 23, 2011. She was re-elected as the Board’s secretary for a second 3-year term in March, 2014.
Dawn holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas, where she graduated magna cum laude. She has prior experience in project management, public policy, legislative issues, and county affairs. She has been trained in hundreds of hours of specialized continuing education topics including identifying, reporting, and prosecuting elder abuse, neglect and exploitation; geriatric pharmacology; dementia, both regarding the types of dementia and importance of proper diagnosis; and behavioral interventions as an alternative to medicating difficult behaviors.
Public policy, advocacy and community outreach have been lifelong interests and pursuits. Her career experience is diverse, encompassing both the private and the public sector, including work with a Fortune 500 company, an Internet startup, a United States Congressman, and as a policy analyst and program administrator for an association of counties in the State of Texas.
She has been invited to present for community leaders and continuing education events for fiduciaries, social workers, nurses, and long term care licensees on topics including rights advocacy, elder abuse, ethical concerns in decision-making, fiduciary matters, and life planning. Her work has been credentialed through the Hospice of Arizona Non-Profit Foundation and the Arizona Fiduciaries Association.
Dawn was honored to be invited as a presenter at the First Annual Canadian Conference on Elder Law, sponsored in October 2005 by the prestigious Canadian Centre for Elder Law. She has given numerous community presentations and training sessions to various local organizations on topics such as end-of-life planning, alternatives to guardianship, ethics, and issues related to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.