Guardianship is a legal process appointing a ‘competent adult’ (guardian) to be responsible for the care, custody and control for a ‘vulnerable or incapacitated person’ often referred to as a (ward). A ward is a person who lacks the ability to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning life’s most basic needs.
If you are responsible for or care for someone who is unable to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning daily living activities such as:
They may need a guardian.
The need for a guardian may be caused by:
A legal guardian has the power and the responsibility similar to that of a parent toward a minor child.
A guardian must make sure that the ward’s abilities, desires and choices are considered while meeting their basic needs. A guardian has the duty and right to act on behalf of the individual, making decisions affecting their daily living arrangements, medical care, education, and social activities.
Any qualified person can be appointed guardian of an incapacitated person. A guardian may be the spouse, parent, adult child, or any other relative with whom the ward has resided for more than six months. A private fiduciary or professional guardian may also be appointed if no family member is able to serve. When there is no person or corporation qualified or willing to act in that capacity, a public fiduciary will be appointed by the court in a guardianship proceeding.
The process involves:
When a person turns age 18: