Guardianship and/or Conservatorship

  • The following conditions don’t necessarily indicate a need for guardianship or conservatorship:
    • a person is elderly or
    • mentally ill or
    • developmentally disabled or
    • physically disabled.
  • Alternatives to guardianship and/or conservatorship should be used in many cases.
    • Less intrusive options should be pursued whenever possible.
      • They preserve a person’s autonomy and self-determination.
  • Guardianship or conservatorship should be considered a last resort.
    • The most restrictive and intrusive form of intervention.
    • Significantly impacts many civil rights including the following rights:
      • to vote
      • to drive
      • decide where to live
      • make medical decisions, etc.
    • Extremely difficult to revoke a guardianship or conservatorship.
      • Even if the guardian or conservator believes it is no longer necessary.
    • Before you proceed, you may want to consult an attorney familiar with guardianships/conservatorships.
  • If there are no other alternatives or any family or friends willing or qualified to serve, and a guardianship or conservatorship should be considered, following is the information needed:
    • A Guardianship Referral Form must be completed.
      • It initiates a detailed assessment process to evaluate whether Guardianship/Conservatorship is necessary.
        • The process is collaborative in nature and takes time to complete.
        • It is not appropriate for emergency situations.
      • You must be willing to testify in court to any information provided in your referral.
    • A referral will open an investigation into the possible need for guardianship/conservatorship.
    • A referral is not a guarantee that a guardian or conservator will be sought.
  • If this is an emergent situation, an emergency petition may be filed with the Probate Court. The following link will take you to the necessary forms and instructions:

Incapacitated Adult in Eminent Danger

If a incapacitated adult is believed to be in eminent danger please call 9-1-1. In situations of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of a incapacitated adult please contact Adult Protective Services at (877) 767-2385.

Click here for the Guardianship Referral Form