A guardianship allows a person, called a guardian, to make decisions for another person, called a ward, and is often put in place when the ward is incapacitated. This means that the ward has a physical or mental condition that limits his or her ability to provide for their basic needs like food and shelter, to care for his or her physical or mental health or to manage their financial affairs.
Creating a guardianship
There are two types of guardianship to consider. A guardian of the estate oversees the ward’s property and finances. The guardian may pay the ward’s bills and make decisions about the ward’s assets, including whether to buy or sell property.
A guardian of the person oversees housing, education and medical decisions for the ward as well as other personal items. The guardian can decide where the ward will live, who the ward can have contact with and what personal rights the ward will have within the limits of the court’s order.
In some circumstances, it may be necessary to appoint a temporary guardian. A temporary guardian is often appointed for a limited purpose and for a short period of time.
Changing a guardianship
Sometimes, after the court has approved a guardianship, it may be necessary to modify it. This may be because the ward has improved and is able to manage his or her own affairs. The ward can request a modification and the court can also modify the guardianship on its own.
If a person would like additional information about pursuing guardianship, an experienced attorney can help.