Guardianship

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With adults, guardianship is a legal process used to protect an individual is not able to care for their own well-being due to a mental or disability. The legal determination is that the person is incapacitated. 

When a person is found to be incapacitated and is not able to care for their personal and/or financial needs, the Court may appoint a guardian who will have the legal authority to act on behalf of the person. There are three types of guardians:

  1. Plenary Guardian - A Plenary Guardian is responsible for taking care of all of the personal and financial needs of the incapacitated person. 
  2. Guardian of the Estate - A Guardian of the Estate is responsible to managing only the financial affairs of the incapacitated person. 
  3. Guardian of the Person - A Guardian of the Person is responsible for managing the personal needs of the incapacitated person; for example, medical care and housing. 

For the Court to find that a person is incapacitated and in need of a guardian, a medical professional must provide an opinion for the Court about the person's medical condition and incapacity. The law allows the doctor to submit a written report in a form similar to this:

Guardianship Expert Report form
Guardianship Expert Report

Most often when a guardian is necessary, a family member is appointed by the Court to serve as the guardian. However, if a family member is not available, the Court may appoint a third party to act at the guardian. 

If you have a family member who might be in need of a guardian, please contact me. I would be glad to discuss their situation with you and, if appropriate, represent you through the process of having a guardian appointed. 

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L. Theodore Hoppe, Jr., Esquire, Attorney at Law is an attorney you can trust to answer your questions, advise you on your rights, help you take the steps necessary to get the situation successfully resolved and if need be, to aggressively defend your rights in court.

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