Sometimes, an adult is unable to take care of his or her needs. It could be the result of age or an injury that renders the person unable to properly make decisions or handle everyday care.
When this happens, the law provides the ability for the court to appoint a guardian. Guardianship is a serious process, and it requires ensuring the adult has no ability to take care of him or herself. The court also takes appointing a guardian seriously, which means taking on this role has requirements.
If you wish to become the guardian of another adult, you will have to go through a legal process. It starts with petitioning the court. The petition will launch an investigation into the matter where the court will determine whether the person requires a guardian for his or her health and safety.
You will have to provide evidence and show your claims are valid in court. The judge will typically appoint a guardian ad litem who will serve as a guardian for the adult during the process. This person will also present evidence, which could back up or contradict your claims.
The judge must issue an order naming you the guardian for you to assume this role. You may act as a caretaker without the court order, but you cannot take on the role of guardian. Being a guardian gives you control over the person’s life. You can make important decisions for him or her and essentially, you will run the person’s life, which is why the court takes care in determining if guardianship is needed and appointing someone to serve as the guardian.
After the order, you still must qualify with the Clerk of the Circuit Court to formally take on the role. You will have to complete documents and take an oath to assume the position.