The Term "Incompetent" in Regards to Guardianship

When a person is considered incompetent, he or she will typically be given a guardian. In traditional families, parents are always the guardians for incompetent individuals. In some cases, parents may divorce or may pass away, leaving the incompetent individual without a full-time caretaker. At this point, a family court may choose to appoint a guardian for the incompetent individual. Guardians are required to give consent to medical care or treatment, or purchase and arrange necessities for the individual such as food, clothes, cars, and other personal items. Also, a guardian is required to arrange the individual's education and finance it as needed, and manage the incompetent individual's finances and bank accounts.

Most often, guardians are required when a ward is incapable of acting for him or herself. This is because of the ward's age, physical health, or mental capacity. The court will appoint a guardian whenever they determine that the ward is incapacitated and incapable of acting for him or herself. The court can also appoint guardians if a ward has substance abuse issues that affect his or her ability to reason or make wise decisions.

The court will almost always evaluate people with ties to the ward before choosing a guardian that is not related to the ward. This normally includes a person designated by the ward in a legal document in the event if a period of incapacity, or a spouse. Also, parents or other relatives may be evaluated and a state employee or private person familiar with the ward and incapacity at issue as well. Whoever the court chooses to be a guardian is required to perform all caretaking duties and represent the interests of the ward. If you want more information about guardianship and incompetency, then you need to talk with a San Fernando family lawyer at Cutter & Lax today!