What is guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal means of protecting children and "incompetent adults" (in legal terms, adults who cannot take care of themselves, make decisions that are in their own best interest, or handle their assets due to a physical or mental disability).
- A guardian of the person is responsible for monitoring the care of the person with disabilities to ensure that the individual is receiving proper care and supervision. The guardian is responsible for decisions regarding most medical care, education, and vocational issues.
- Guardians are approved and appointed by the court. Guardianships are also supervised by the court. The guardian provides a report on the status of the individual to the court annually.
- In general, the guardian or conservator is responsible for handling the individual's financial resources, but is not personally financially responsible for them from his or her own resources.
- If an individual with a disability is capable of making some but not all decisions, alternatives to guardianship should be considered.
Attend our "Ask the Experts" panel discussion to find out what you need to know about guardianship.