Guardianship

A "guardian" is someone who is appointed by the Clerk of Superior Court to act on behalf of an incompetent adult.

Common Questions Answer
What is a guardian? In North Carolina there are three types of guardians for an incompetent adult (ward), they are:
  • Guardian of the Person: This person makes decisions about the ward's personal care and well-being, such as housing and medical decisions. The Guardian of the Person cannot handle the ward's money.
  • Guardian of the Estate: This person handles the ward’s finances (estate), but cannot make decisions about the ward's personal care and well-being.
  • General Guardian: The general guardian is someone who has the power to make personal decisions for and handle the finances of the ward.
How is someone determined to be incompetent?
  • A petition seeking to have someone declared incompetent must be filed.
  • The person is entitled to a jury trial, or the matter may be heard before the Clerk of Superior Court.
  • Generally, there has to be medical or psychological evidence to assist the jury or Clerk in determining whether the person no longer has the ability to make decisions or care for himself or herself.