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Guardianship & Conservatorship

A guardianship is granted when a person is unable to make sound decisions on their own. This could include children who have lost their parents or others who are suffering from a mental illness, deficiency or condition that has incapacitated them.

In these instances, the court will appoint a guardian over the individual, who is referred to as the ward. The guardian is usually authorized to make several life decisions for the ward, such as the location of his or her residence and the type of medical attention that’s required.

Because a guardianship can limit the rights of the ward, they are ordered only to the extent necessitated by the person’s adaptive limitations. These arrangements are designed to encourage the development of self-reliance and independence and can be revoked if the ward is able to make enough of a recovery to no longer need the assistance of a guardian. The courts want to convey the least amount of authority possible to the guardian to protect the rights of the ward. 

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