Are there different types of guardianships and alternatives to guardianship?

Yes. A Guardian of the Person is appointed by the court to take care of the physical well-being of a ward and a Guardian of the Estate is appointed to care for a ward’s property. Often both a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate are appointed and this can be the same person. Sometimes a ward does not have any property to manage so only a Guardian of the Person is necessary.

The most common alternatives to guardianships are:

  • Powers of Attorney–A Power of Attorney (POA) is an instrument executed by an adult who has capacity authorizing another person to act as his or her agent. The power to the agent may be either specific or general. There are powers of attorney specifically for health care issues and specifically for financial issues.
  • Management of Community Property–If an individual is judicially declared incapacitated, the spouse may have the full authority to manage, control and dispose of the entire community estate without the necessity of a guardianship, if the court does not find the spouse to be disqualified.
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