Handbook for Guardians and Conservators of Minors and Adults can be found at

Conservatorship and guardianship videos for adults and children (also available in Spanish) can be viewed at


Incapacitated Adults


Do I need a guardian in place if I have a power of attorney?

It depends on what type of power of attorney you have.  If it is a durable power of attorney for health purposes along with a durable power of attorney for financial purposes, there may be no need for the court to intervene.  If the power of attorney is a general power of attoeny, you will probably need to petition the court for authority.


In what county do I need to file the guardianship petition?

Usually, the petition will be filed in the ward's county of residence, but it will depend on the length of stay where he/she is domiciled presently, i.e., a nursing home resident will usually be filed in the county where the nursing home is located.


What authority will the guardian have once appointed?

The guardianship consists of two distinct responsibilities - guardian of person and guardian of property.  There could be one person appoitned for both, or it could be divided.  It is possible to have a guardian of the property and not of the person.  The guardian of the person makes decisions regarding health and living arrangements, etc.  The guardian of the property makes decisions regarding finances.


Why is the cost so high for an adult guardianship petition?

Because of the taking away of certain rigths of adult individuals, the law requires safeguards.  An attorney will be appointed to represent the desires of the proposed ward, an attorney will be appointed to represent the best interest of the ward, and a doctor will be appointed to examine the proposed ward and provide a written report to the court.  No guardianship will be put in place unless the court finds that there is no other alternative or that the guardianship is absolutely necessary.


Guardianship of Minors


Can I get a guardianship for my nephew/niece/grandchild in order for him/her to go to a better school?

No.  The status of guardian is more than a mere permission order.  It is a transfer of parental authority and responsibility to the person appointed.  It is a grave thing, and the court must find a need for another person to care for the child, not just a desire to change schools.


Is a guardianship for a minor permanent?

No.  It will terminate when the child reaches the age of majority (currently 18 years of age).  The temporary guardianship shall terminate upon either parent demanding it in probate court.


**If the parents are deceased, then you may apply for a permanent guardianship.**


Why do I need a guardianship of my own child?

The law requires that all estates of children and incompetent adults be overseen by the probate court in order to protect the value of the estate.  Because the child does not have the capacity to make financial decisions (according to the law), there must be a guardian answerable to the court when the child receives the assets.