A court may appoint a guardian over a person who is unable to manage his property or provide self care because of mental or physical incapacity, substance abuse, detention, or for other reasons. A guardian may also be appointed over a person who is under the age of eighteen in certain situations.

Depending on the circumstances, a guardian may be given powers to manage the person’s financial affairs or to make decisions regarding the person’s medical care or living arrangements.

Guardians are required to file financial accountings with the court every two years. Guardians are required to keep the assets of the person separate from the guardian’s assets.

Guardianships often become necessary for elderly persons who can no longer manage their financial affairs or properly care for themselves. A guardianship can involve a lot of work. It can be avoided in many cases by the proper use of a general power of attorney and appointment of a health care representative.