How a guardian is appointed (the Guardianship Petitioning Process), cont'd

family with elderly mother

The court can appoint a guardian only after the petitioner has demonstrated the need for the appointment by clear and convincing evidence. At the hearing, the person will have the right to question the witnesses and examine the documents presented by the petitioner and to testify, and present his or her own witnesses and documents.

If a judge decides that the adult is actually incapacitated and finds that the appointment of a guardian is both necessary and desirable to provide for the person’s continuing care and supervision, a guardianship or limited guardianship will be established. The judge is expected to consider ways to maximize the adult’s self-reliance and independence.

Family members, case managers, and friends involved in the guardianship decision and court process should also advocate for the adult’s rights to make choices and retain as much control, independence, and dignity as possible, consistent with the person’s current abilities.


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