When an individual loses the ability to manage his or her own affairs due to a mental or physical disability, a guardianship may be necessary. Guardianship is a court-supervised process through which a guardian is appointed to an incapacitated individual. The proceeding is commenced by filing a verified petition with the North Carolina Clerk of Superior Court.
If the Clerk determines a guardian is necessary, he/she will decide which type of guardianship is appropriate. In North Carolina, there are three types:
- Guardian of the estate: appointed for the purpose of managing the incapacitated individual’s property.
- Guardian of the person: has the authority to perform duties relating to medical care and custody
- General guardian: a guardian of both the person and their estate.
A guardian must always ensure the best interests of the incapacitated person by being loyal to him or her. Moreover, if possible, the guardian should try to include the incapacitated person in decision making and, if feeling overwhelmed, remember that alternatives to guardianship exist.
If you need assistance with guardianships, schedule a consultation with an estate attorney at Bagwell Holt Smith P.A.