The Superior Court can assign a guardian to care for an adult who cannot care for themselves. First, the court must determine whether a person is incapacitated. Until the court decides, the person is an alleged incapacitated person (AIP). After the court determines incapacitation, they become a protected person or ward.
Examples of incapacitation include:
- Mental illness or deficiency.
- Physical illness or disability.
- Chronic drug use.
- Chronic alcoholism.
- Developmental disability.
There are three types of guardianship:
- Guardianship of the person and estate. The guardian is responsible for the individual’s healthcare and financial management. This applies when the ward also has assets that qualify as an estate.
- Guardianship of the person only. This applies when the ward needs to be looked after but does not have assets to manage.
- Guardianship of the estate only. The guardian only manages the ward’s financial affairs.