What is a guardianship?


A Guardianship is necessary if incapacity occurs and no power of attorney has been appointed for an adult.  

A guardianship may be entered into by an adult voluntarily or involuntarily.   An involuntary guardianship requires a simultaneous action to determine whether a person is incompetent to manage his or her daily affairs.  An examining committee of three members is appointed to exam the person to determine his or her ability to perform the tasks of daily living.  


A guardianship for a minor is implemented by a parent, relative or third party and remains in place until the age of 18 years.   A guardianship for a minor may be of the person only, property only or both.


A guardian for a minor may be required when the natural parent dies or is unable to care for a minor child or the child receives a lump sum exceeding the statutory exemption requiring guardianship.  For example, a natural parent remains the guardian of the person of a child who receives an inheritance from a relative that exceeds the statutory amount of $15,000.  If this occurs, the natural parent may apply to serve as guardian of the inheritance property which will be held until the child turns 18 years of age. 


A guardian advocacy may be brought on behalf of an adult or minor child who has been disabled since birth.  Such action may include the person, property or both as needed.  A guardian advocacy proceeding is administered similarly to a guardianship proceeding.

All types of guardianship actions require annual reporting to the court on the person and property of the guardianship.