Guardianship is a legal arrangement where the court appoints a person or institution as a guardian to make decisions for an incapacitated person or a minor child -- decisions about housing, medical care, legal issues, and services. In , the Legislature changed the law so that a full guardian of an adult automatically has the powers of a conservator. Before , it was necessary to get two appointments, one for a guardian and one for a conservator. While a person appointed as guardian may also be appointed as conservator, a separate conservator can be appointed.
Guardianship and Alternatives to Guardianship
The Ins and Outs of Guardianship and Conservatorship
Not all adults have the ability to care for themselves. Whether from disability, disease or age, some adults are unable to make their own decisions without help. They can become adult wards of the state when this happens. Adult wards of the state don't have adult family members who are willing or able to serve as guardians. Guardians are instead appointed by the court from local government agencies to make decisions for them.
More NC Adults Are Becoming Wards Of The State
Becoming a ward of the state sounds like an ominous event, but it is actually meant to be an act of goodwill and good faith on the part of the government. Often a person, either a child or adult, becomes a ward of the state due to a loss of ability to care for themselves properly through no real fault of their own. If a child has been neglected or abused, and it has been proven, then a court may step in to appoint a guardian to ensure their safety and well-being. Often this is temporary until the child can be placed with family or if the parent or supervising guardian successfully completes parenting or anger management courses. A minor that becomes a ward of the state is protected by law.
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