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What is Guardianship?

- Guardianship is a legal process utilized when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his person and/or property or has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence. A guardian should take into account the wishes and desires of the ward when making decisions about residence, medical treatments and end-of-life decisions.


What is a Guardian?

- A guardian is a person, institution, or agency appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another, called a ward. The guardian may manage the person and/or the estate of an individual. All guardians are accountable to the court.


How does a Guardian get appointed?

- A guardian gets appointed after a petition is filed, a court hearing is held, and the court determines, based on the evidence presented, that the individual is incapacitated, guardianship is appropriate, who or what entity will act as guardian, and what the authority of the guardian will be.


Who may have a Guardian appointed?

- In order to have a guardian appointed a person must be demonstrated to lack the capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning personal or financial matters. Mental illness, developmental disability, physical incapacity, chronic intoxication, or even advanced age can be identified the basis for the lack of decisional capacity.


Do parents of children with disabilities automatically remain their child’s natural guardian?

- No. When a child with disabilities reaches the age of 18, the parents do not automatically remain their child’s natural guardian. Guardianship is a judicial determination made in a court of law.

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