When an adult becomes unable to make responsible decisions, then that adult may be in need of a guardian, conservator, or other alternative. The law states that a guardian may be appointed if a Court determines that a person is an incapacitated individual. The law defines an incapacitated individual as:
- “…one who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, or other cause, not including minority, to the extent of lacking sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions.”
A conservator may also be appointed if the person is unable to manage his or her property or finances effectively.