Guardianship involves the filing of a Petition with the Probate Court to become the legal guardian over a person who lacks the ability to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his or her health or safety. In addition, the individual in need (the Proposed Ward) cannot conduct some activities of daily living that may include feeding, bathing, toileting, showering and transferring. Managing medications is often problematic for the Ward to do himself or herself.
Those appointed as guardians are pledging to conduct themselves in a fiduciary capacity where the Ward’s interests are paramount to other interests. The process from the time of filing a Petition and the actual appointment of a Permanent Guardian is about eight weeks. During that time, if a more imminent need arises to the level of an emergency, then a Petition for Emergency Guardianship may be filed.