Guardianship for an Adult
As a child reaches the age of majority, the child may not be able to care for her or himself due to developmental disorders such as autism or down’s syndrome. If some decision-making activities can still be conducted by the Ward or individual with the developmental disorders, then a guardian advocate case can be established. If the Ward can appropriately decide where to live, or vote, or drive, then a guardian advocate can be established.
The question remains why would someone want to establish a guardian advocate case instead of a guardianship?
There are less requirements for a guardian advocate case than a guardianship. The annual plans for a guardian advocate case are not as rigorous. Decisions can be made without having to go to court for each particular asset. Decisions can be made as in a durable power of attorney where a Principal can make decisions for the agent without court approval.
In a guardianship, everything needs to be petitioned for by the principal for the Ward, unlike a guardian advocate case. In order to have a guardian advocate case, it has to be agreed to by the judge or magistrate. The Judge wants to see that certain decision-making activities can be conducted by the Ward such as voting, driving, making gifts, selecting his or her residence appropriately. In addition, the Ward has to have a developmental delay such as autism or down’s syndrome, the Ward cannot be considered incapacitated due to a a psychological condition.
A guardianship can be set up for an adult if he/she was Baker acted several times. The adult may be wanting to hurt him or herself due to a multiple personality order. Due to mental issues, the person may be Baker acted and a guardianship may need to be set up. If a minor has a developmental disorder, then a guardianship may need to be set up. If the adult has a developmental disorder, but still is able to care for him or herself in certain ways such as managing his or her finances, being able to make a gift of a certain amount, vote or making a contract, drive, then a guardianship advocate may be able to be set up which is not as time-consuming or expensive than a guardianship. The annual plans in a guardian advocate are not as rigorous as those in a guardianship. A guardianship advocate is more like a durable power of attorney where the agent can make decisions for the Ward, mentally incapacitated person, rather than having the court involved as in a guardianship.
The adult may have Alzheimer’s or Dementia and may not be able to take care of his or her finances anymore. If the adult does not have a durable power of attorney or estate planning documents set up, a guardianship would need to be set up to take care of the adult. Even if these estate planning documents cannot be found or become lost, then a guardianship may need to be set up.