If an individual is not capable of making life decisions for himself or herself, then it may be necessary to petition the probate court to appoint a guardian to make decisions for that disabled individual (the “ward”). The guardian makes decisions on behalf of the ward, such as where the ward will live; whether the ward should be admitted to a nursing home or boarding home; and what medical treatment the ward will receive.

When petitioning the Court, you may ask for a full guardianship, or a limited guardianship. With a full guardianship, the guardian has the same power over the ward as a parent has over a child who is younger than 18 years of age. If the ward does not have many assets, then the guardian has the authority to manage the ward’s money and property. If, however, the ward has substantial assets or real estate, then it may be necessary to also have a conservator appointed.

Anyone who is concerned about the incapacitated person may file a petition with the probate court seeking the appointment of a guardian for another. Carlin & Shapiro can assist you with all stages of a guardianship proceeding.