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What is a Guardianship?

When people are not able to make good decisions for themselves because of their situation or disabilities, they are at risk of being taken advantage of, abused, neglected or not receiving needed medical services. A Guardianship is a court appointed relationship between a competent adult (guardian) and a person who is deemed incapacitated by the courts (protected person). 


A person may be deemed incapacitated by reason of mental illness, physical illness, disability or chemical dependency which cause the person to lack the capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions. This law applies to persons over the age of eighteen. 

Types of Guardianship


granted the authority to make decisions relating to the personal and financial affairs


receive only the rights and powers specifically designated by the court that the protected person is not able to preform


time-limited guardianship intended to provide only the measure of protection needed in an immediate crisis

Duties of the Guardian: 

  • The guardian shall visit the ward monthly

  • The guardian shall assess the protected person's appearance and condition and assess the appropriateness of the person's current living situation and the continuation of existing services

  • The guardian must participate, in person or by phone call, in care or planning conferences 

Rights that may be removed and delegated to the guardian could include the right to: 

  • determine residence

  • consent to medical/mental health treatment

  • manage property and assets

  • apply for government benefits

  • make decisions about social environment, education or habitation 

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