When a person is unable to manage his/her own affairs, whether due to age, illness, injury or some other reason, it may be necessary for the Court to appoint a person to assist such a person. The one appointed by the Court is referred to as a Guardian, and the person needing the assistance is the Ward.
The Court may appoint two types of Guardians. The Guardian of the estate is a person charged with the responsibility of managing the financial affairs of the Ward; a Guardian of the person is responsible for the physical care of the Ward. Both types of guardians may not be necessary in every case; one person may serve as both types of guardians for a ward at the same time. For example, often an elderly Ward may be able to take care of himself on a daily basis (preparing meals, eating, bathing, taking medicine), but be in need of assistance managing his income, checking account, paying bills on time, etc.
Most often, a Guardian of the person is needed when a person can no longer take care of himself even on a daily basis and refuses any reasonable assistance. For example, meals are not prepared or eaten, medication is not taken when required, bathing and other personal hygiene is not performed, maybe even unsafe conditions are created (fire, gas left on, etc).
Any involuntary guardianship action is uncomfortable and stressful situation; we understand this and treat both the Guardian and the Ward with the greatest consideration possible. If you feel that it may be time for someone to step in and provide assistance to a person in need, please give us a call; we would be pleased to discuss your concerns either by telephone or in person with no obligation.
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