When we recommend seeking a guardianship, it is often because of concerns about the financial abuse of a vulnerable person.  If a bad actor is an agent under a power of attorney or is exerting undue influence, it may make sense to seek guardianship.  Of course, there are times when there is no threat of exploitation but a person has become incompetent, needs a guardian, but doesn’t want a guardian, and so the proceeding is contested.

Two Parts: Incompetency and Guardianship

Guardianship is broken up into two distinct proceedings: a determination of incompetency, and then an appointment of a guardian. 


The first step is for the Court to decide whether or not the person is incompetent. In contested cases, this will often require the opinion of a medical expert. If the Court determines that the person is incompetent, then a guardian or guardians must be appointed. Who is to be appointed as guardian(s) can also be a hotly contested issue.


A guardian of the estate manages a person's finances, and a guardian of the person manages the person's physical well-being. The Court can appoint a different person to each guardian role or can appoint one person to do both, which is called a general guardian.

Tell us about your contested guardianship issue.