Guardianship allows loved ones to make decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated
Guardianship, sometimes referred to as conservatorship, is a legal process, utilized most often when a person is incapacitated such that s/he can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his/her person and/or property, or is susceptible to fraud or undue influence. Because establishing a guardianship may remove considerable rights from an individual, it should only be considered after any alternatives to guardianship have proven ineffective or are unavailable.
Alternatives to Guardianship
Alternatives to Guardianship might include durable powers of attorney, health care surrogates, Living Trusts, jointly owned property, and representatives or substitute payees.
There are several types of Guardianship:
- Plenary (all delegable property and personal rights are removed)
- Limited (some delegable property and/or personal rights are removed)
- Guardian of Property only – can be plenary or limited
- Guardian of Person only – can be plenary or limited
- Guardianship of Minor
- Voluntary Guardianship of Property
- Guardian Advocate
- Guardian ad Litem
This brief summary does not attempt to cover all of the aspects of guardianship. Especially in this area of the law where local court rules may vary from county to county, or from state to state, it is a good idea to make inquiries as to what is appropriate for your specific circumstances.