When is a guardian appointed?
In Maine, a guardian for an adult may be appointed by a Probate Court for an adult who is:
Unable to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate informed decisions to such an extent that the individual lacks the ability to meet essential requirements for physical health, safety or self-care.
Before a guardian may be appointed, the court must determine that there are no less restrictive alternatives, such as:
- appropriate supportive services,
- technological assistance, or
- supported decision making that could provide adequate protection for the individual. (More information on Supported Decision Making).
Public Guardianship or Conservatorship
If there is no suitable private guardian or conservator available and willing to assume the responsibilities, DHHS has the authority to petition for public guardianship, conservatorship, or a protective order when all less restrictive alternatives have been tried and failed.
Concerned that an adult may need a guardian?
If you have concerns that an adult is incapacitated and in need of a guardian, you may report this information to Adult Protective Services to initiate a “guardianship study.”