Guardianship – what is it?

A guardianship is a legal action that is filed in the probate court.  The issue for the court to decide is whether or not the person in question, the proposed ward, is in need of a guardian, and, if so, who should serve as the legal guardian?

While these actions are common in cases of orphaned children, guardianships can also be instituted against adults when they are no longer able to make decisions in their best interest.

Unlike a power of attorney or health care power of attorney, a guardianship can’t be revoked.

There are two types of guardianship.  Guardianships of the person and guardianships of the estate.  A guardian of the person assists the ward with making decisions – specifically medical decisions.  A guardian over the estate is responsible to maintain the ward’s finances and must also file reports with the probate court on the status of the ward’s assets.

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