A guardian is someone with legal authority to make decisions for another person (who is called the ward).  A person may need a guardian due to being a minor, having an illness or disability, or incapacity.

The guardianship process is a judicial one.  A guardian is initially appointed by the court.  But the court’s power doesn’t end there.  A guardian must continue to report to the court on the status of the ward until the guardianship is lifted.  Many people like to avoid the use of guardianship unless absolutely necessary because of that court oversight.

But sometimes guardianship can’t be avoided.  If a minor child loses their parents, a guardian must be named.  And if a disabled adult needs someone to step in and make their decisions for them, there is often little recourse except to petition the court for guardianship.

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