Guardianship Of a an Adult

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Guardianship Of An Adult



 There are circumstances in an adult's life that could warrant a guardianship due to incapacity. A person lacks capacity if they are unable to make or communicate responsible decisions.  A Guardian must be appointed by the Court. Once appointed the Guardian can make decisions regarding the person’s care, living, and medical needs.  Some individuals who may need a guardian are:

  •  A minor who turns 18 years old but remains unable to care for himself or herself or make decisions regarding basic care, living, or medical needs.
  • An adult who has suffered a physical injury, illness, or disability.
  • An adult who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, or mental disorder.


 Who may file for Guardianship? Anyone can file a Petition such as, a relative, neighbor, caregiver, friend, or even an attorney for a hospital in which the adult is an in-patient.


 Who may be appointed as Guardian?

  •  The Petitioner can nominate himself or a public/ private fiduciary to serve as Guardian.  The guardian must accept the appointment.
  • Priority will be given to immediate family and/or a person nominated in a Medical Power of Attorney or testamentary document.
  • Some criminal felony convictions or CPS history can prohibit one from serving.
  • The nominated guardian cannot be registered on the Elder Abuse Registry.

 A Guardianship deprives an adult of their constitutional rights and liberties, such as the driving and voting, as a result strict rules exist to ensure that a Guardianship is necessary.

The Basic Court Requirements are :

 1. All individuals entitled to know about the hearing must be given written notice. 

 2.  An attorney will be appointed by the Court to represent the incapacitated person.

 3. A physician will be appointed and must submit a written report on the condition of the person. 

 4. A Court Investigator will be appointed to report on the appropriateness of a guardianship.

 Does the Guardianship include management of a person’s assets or finances?

 A court-appointed guardian does not have authority to manage finances or property over $10,000.00.  Absent a financial power of attorney or Trust, a person must be appointed as a Conservator, who could also serve as the Guardian. The Guardian can be the payee for social security.

Your duties and responsibilities once the Guardianship is granted?

 Once appointed, the Guardian must report to the Court annually on the well-being, the current mental/physical condition, and whereabouts of the incapacitated person.  The guardian will serve until the guardianship is terminated or a successor guardian is appointed.


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