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What is guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal process in which the court appoints the guardian for a person who is unable to make decisions regarding:

  • Health Care
  • Personal Care
  • Finances
  • Property
  • Or may be subjected to abuse, neglect, exploitation, fraud

What is a conservator?

A Conservator is a person or entity who is appointed by the court to manage the Protected Person’s financial affairs and/or property.

What is an alternative to guardianship?

Alternatives to guardianship include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Supported Decision Making
  • Surrogate Decision Maker for Healthcare
  • Power of Attorney
  • Representative Payee
  • Special Needs Trust

Do I need an attorney to petition the court for appointment of a guardian?

Yes, an attorney is required to petition the court to appoint a guardian for an alleged incapacitated person. 

I live on a reservation or tribal land how do I get guardianship services?

You need to consult with the tribal court regarding the guardianship process.

What are the qualifications for Office of Guardianship (OOG) services?

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • New Mexico resident;
  • Adult (age 18 and older);
  • Documented incapacity; and
  • Income eligible.

What age does the person (who may need a guardian) have to be for OOG services?

The person who may need a guardian must be age 18 or older.

How do I find out if I meet income eligibility?

You can call DDC/OOG and request an income pre-screen to see if you qualify financially.

Click HERE to determine income eligibility.

How do I apply for guardianship services with OOG?

For assistance, call (505) 841-4519 to request an application or:

Click HERE Guardianship Services Application

Click HERE Guardianship Services Application (En Español)

How do I submit an application for OOG services?

Submit completed application and required documents by mail, fax, or email to:

 DDC Office of Guardianship
Attn: Intake Coordinator
625 Silver Avenue SW, Suite 100A
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Fax: 505-841-4455

What if I don’t qualify for OOG guardianship services?

If you do not qualify for OOG services:

  • Click HERE for Guardianship Attorneys
  • Advocacy, Inc.

Phone: 505-266-3166

  • Disability Rights New Mexico

Toll Free: 1-800-432-4682

  • New Mexico Legal Aid

Toll Free: 1-833-545-4357

  • State Bar of New Mexico

Toll Free: 1-800-876-6227

How long does the guardianship process take?

It varies from case to case. Once a legal team has been assigned it may take anywhere from three (3) to six (6) months and possibly longer.

Can more than one person become guardian for a Protected Person?

There are co-guardianships; however, the decision is made by the court.

Can I get paid to be a guardian?

OOG only compensates Professional Guardians that contract with the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC).

How do I know what decisions I can make once I become a Guardian?

Guardians can only make decisions that are specified in the court order.

What decisions/rights can I make as the Protected Person once a guardian is appointed?

The Protected Person retains all legal and civil rights, except for what is specified in the court order.

What reports do I need to submit to the court?

All guardians (non-professional and professional) are required to submit the following reports to the court, using Form 4-996 NMRA:

  • 90-day report, filed within 90 days of the guardian’s appointment by the court.
  • Annual report, filed on or before the date of anniversary of the guardian’s appointment by the court.
  • Final report, filed upon the transfer to successor guardian, termination of guardianship, or upon the death of the Protected Person.

What happens if I do not submit the required court reports?

Failure to submit the required court reports may result in a fine of $25.00 per day and/or termination of you as the Protected Person’s guardian.

Does OOG oversee all Professional Guardians?

OOG only monitors Professional Guardians that are contracted with DDPC.

How do I submit a complaint against a Professional Guardian that contracts with DDPC?

  • Protected Persons and/or other concerned parties are required to first try to resolve the complaint(s) with the guardian.
  • If the parties are unable to reach a resolution or agreement within thirty (30) calendar days, the complaining party may submit a complaint to OOG.
  • Complaints may also be submitted to the court by writing a letter to the judge or by filing a court grievance form.

Complaint Information:

How do I submit a complaint about a Representative Payee?

If there are concerns regarding Social Security benefits and/or a representative payee, contact the local Social Security Office.


SSA Fraud Hotline: 1-800-269-0271 (available 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST)

How do I terminate my guardianship?

A guardian’s appointment may only be terminated by the court if it has been determined that the Protected Person has regained capacity – is now able to manage their personal affairs and no longer needs a guardian.

What do I do if the current guardian can no longer provide guardianship services?

If the guardian can no longer serve or perform their duties, the court must be petitioned to request a successor guardian.

What do I do if a Protected Person’s Guardian has passed away?

Notify the court immediately to request a successor guardian, informing the court of the guardian’s death.

Do I need to inform the court when a Protected Person has passed away?

Yes upon the death of the Protected Person, all guardians must notify the court by completing the Final Guardian Report using Form 4-996 NMRA.