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Guardianship of the Estate & Person

Some individuals require the assistance of a court appointed Guardian to help exercise their legal rights, including the management of their property and personal affairs when they do not have adequate capacity to make such decisions for themselves. Incompetent persons who are not able to act effectively on their own behalf have a right to a qualified, responsible Guardian to act on their behalf.

Guardianship should seek to preserve for the incompetent person the opportunity to exercise those rights that are within his comprehension and judgment, allowing for the possibility of error to the same degree as allowed to persons who are not incompetent. To the maximum extent of his capabilities, an incompetent person should be permitted to participate as fully as possible in all decisions that will affect him.

The Court may order medical, psychological, social work and other evaluations. The Court will consider the results of the requested evaluations and other evidence that relates to whether the respondent is incompetent. If, after weighing all the evidence, the Court determines that the appointment of a Guardian is necessary by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence, the Court will appoint a Guardian. The Court will consider the various types of Guardianships available and order the appropriate type of Guardianship.

The Types of Guardianship available are either General or Limited Guardianships, Guardian of the Estate, and Guardian of the Person.

General Guardianship

“General Guardian” is a Guardian, appointed by the Court, of both the Estate and the Person. A General Guardian has the legal authority to (i) manage the personal property, real property, and business affairs of an incompetent adult; and (ii) perform duties relating to the care, custody, and control of the incompetent adult. A General Guardian has the power to perform in a reasonable and prudent manner every act that a reasonable and prudent person would perform incident to the collection, preservation, management, and use of the incompetent adult’s estate to accomplish the desired result of administering the incompetent adult’s estate legally and in the incompetent adult’s best interest.

Limited Guardian

“Limited Guardian” is a Guardian, appointed by the Court, to serve on behalf of an incompetent adult in a limited capacity. The Court strives to allow the incompetent adult to retain to the maximum extent of his or her capabilities the ability to participate as fully as possible in managing his own affairs.

Guardian of the Estate

“Guardian of the Estate” is a Guardian, appointed by the Court, solely for the purpose of managing the personal property (tangible and intangible), interest in joint accounts or jointly held property, real property, and business affairs of an incompetent adult. A Guardian of the Estate has the power to perform in a reasonable and prudent manner every act that a reasonable and prudent person would perform incident to the collection, preservation, management, and use of the incompetent adult’s estate to accomplish the desired result of administering the incompetent adult’s estate legally and in the incompetent adult’s best interest.

Guardian of the Person

“Guardian of the Person” is a Guardian, appointed by the Court, solely for the purpose of performing duties relating to the care, custody, and control of an incompetent adult. Guardian of the Person shall make provision for the incompetent adult’s care, comfort, and maintenance, and shall, as appropriate to the incompetent adult’s needs, arrange for the his or her training, education, employment, rehabilitation, or habilitation. The Guardian of the Person shall take reasonable care of the incompetent adult’s clothing, furniture, vehicles, and other personal effects. The Guardian of the Person may give any consent or approval that may be necessary for the incompetent adult to receive medical, legal, psychological, or other professional care, counsel, treatment, or service.

North Carolina Guardianship Pamphlet

Pamphlet is provided as a public service to assist persons who have been or are about to be appointed guardians in understanding their duties, responsibilities and role. It is not meant as a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney should you have any legal questions about the role of a guardian.

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Disclaimer The content and information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only. Nothing on this website should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship