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What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal process that may remove considerable rights from an individual. It should only be considered as a last resort and when there are no least restrictive forms of intervention, such as a Power of Attorney or a decision maker designated under an Advance Directive.

Guardianship is the most restrictive form of intervention and should be sought only in cases where an individual has limited decision making capacity and needs support to make decisions on their behalf.

Types of Guardianship

Mental Health Treatment Guardian means a form of guardianship tailored to grant the guardian authority to make substituted decisions regarding mental health treatment (including psychotropic medications) for individuals determined by the court to lack the capacity to provide informed consent, for a specified period of time not to exceed one year.

Temporary Guardian means that a petition for guardianship has been filed alleging that immediate and irreparable harm will result to the alleged incapacitated person. The temporary guardianship shall last not more than sixty days.

Limited Guardian means a guardian who is appointed by the court to exercise limited authority and decision-making for the protected person if it is determined that the person is able to manage some but not all aspects of their personal care. A person for whom a limited guardian has been appointed retains all legal rights except those that have been specifically granted to the limited guardian by the court.

Full or Plenary Guardian means a guardian appointed by the court to exercise all legal rights and powers of the protected person after the court has found that the person lacks the capacity to carry out all the tasks necessary to care for their self or property.

Successor Guardian means a guardian who is appointed to act upon the death or resignation of a previous guardian.