Guardianship FAQs

A guardianship is when a court appoints a legal representative to manage the financial and/or day-to-day affairs of an individual becomes incapacitated and can longer care for themselves or manage their financial affairs.

A “guardian for the estate” responsibilities including managing the financial and/or property affairs of the person or ward.  A “guardian of the person” responsibilities include providing medical care, food, clothing and shelter for the incapacitated person.  The guardian appointed for the estate or the person is not always the same person.

When the proposed ward is an adult, courts generally give preference to individuals designated in advance by the proposed ward via a document entitled Declaration of Guardian. If no such document exists, the proposed ward’s spouse generally has preference, if there is no spouse, next of kin have preference.