What is a guardianship?

A guardianship is a legal mechanism by which one individual or entity (a guardian) is appointed by a court to exercise certain decision making functions on behalf of, and in the place of, an individual that is legally “incapacitated.” When a guardianship is established, the incapacitated person’s legal right to make certain decisions with respect to his or her personal and/or financial affairs is removed and responsibility for making such decisions is placed in the court-appointed guardian.