called the ward. The disability may he caused by mental illness, developmental disability,
accident, or other causes. A developmental disability or mental illness is not, alone by itself
Competency has to do with a person’s ability to make an ‘informed decision’, or, with the risk of
business. The court has the right to make the guardian last indefinitely. The only way to end it
majority and then they don’t need a guardian or if the incapacitated person dies. The
incapacitated person could also get better and then they wouldn’t need a guardian any more
In the relationship between the guardian and the ward, the guardian is given the right to
make decisions on behalf of the person with a disability. When a guardian is appointed, the
The courts, when giving rights to a guardian, take them away from the ward. Because
guardianship involves such a serious deprivation of rights and dignity, the law requires that
guardianship be executed only when other, less restrictive alternatives have proven not to work.
If less restrictive forms of protection are not enough to protect a person from the risk of harm,
then guardianship should be sought on behalf of the incapacitated person.
responsible decisions in some, but not all, areas of their lives. In these situations guardianship
may be limited by the court to only those areas in which the incapacitated person is unable to
make responsible decisions. Some individuals require a guardian who has responsibility for both
the person and the estate. The primary responsibility of the guardian with duties pertaining to
guardian of the estate is responsible for managing some or all of the property and/or income of
There are three different kinds of guardianship. The first kind is the most common type
and that is plenary guardianship. Plenary guardianship or complete guardianship is when the
ward has very little capacity and the guardian makes all the important decisions. People found to
affairs, are given plenary guardians.
In determining a need for person guardianship, two prominent issues are medical decision
making and residential placement. If a person is unable to give informed medical consent or is
unable to live independently in an appropriate residence, person guardianship should be
Estate guardianship is necessary where a person, due to some disability, cannot manage
financial affairs. However, courts rarely appoint plenary estate guardians where estate assets are
considered before you seek an estate guardian. Small estate amounts can be collected and
disbursed, without resort to estate administration. Some courts encourage the use of small estate
affidavits and court-supervised deposits of wards’ funds as alternatives to estate guardianship.
However, as stated before, many judges rarely appoint estate guardians in small or minimal
Perhaps the least understood and least used form of guardianship applies where a person
lacks some, but not all of the capacity to make personal decisions or handle an estate, the
appointment of a limited guardian is not a finding of legal incompetence. Limited guardianship
Although guardianship is supposed to be used only to the extent necessary by a person’s
than limited guardianship, even where limited guardianship may arguably be more appropriate.
limited guardianship is complicated when compared to plenary guardianship. A physician must
clearly state between things a person can and cannot do and must clearly describe these things to
the court. The court must then determine which of these rights will be taken from the person with
disability, considering the consequences for each. The limited guardianship must be
understandable to the guardian, ward and other parties that may depend on the document. Not all
guardianship practitioners, medical practitioners and courts are able to make an appropriate,
useful limited guardianship order.
The following are some better alternatives, which should be considered before pursuing
guardianship. Representative or Protective Payee is a person who is appointed to manage Social
benefits or entitlement program payments on behalf of an individual. Conservatorship is a
voluntary proceeding in which a person (the conservatee) asks the Court to appoint a specific
individual (the conservator) to manage his or her estate. The court must find the ward incapable
of managing his or her financial affairs, but capable of making the decision to have a conservator
one party gives to the other the authority to make any number of decisions (e.g. medical,
placement, financial) on his or her behalf. The person giving the power of attorney must be
the six essential elements of a contract are met, the power of attorney remains in effect even if
the principal becomes mentally incapacitated.
Here is a case where some kind of guardianship or another court related act would have
gradually loses even long-term memory. That person cannot make responsible decisions such as
remembering to take medication or remembering to pay bills. If that person did not execute a
power of attorney while he or she still had the legal capacity to do so, the only way for a family
member to take over bill payments or seek medical assistance for the disabled person is to
execute a guardianship through court intervention.
In conclusion there are very many things you have to consider before you try to become a
legal guardian. You must first think of what is in the best interests of the ward. Then, if you
can, you should try to find some better, less restricting options, for him or her. Being a guardian
to a child or a mentally disabled person is a big responsibility and should not be taken lightly.