Adult Guardianship

Guardianship is a legal relationship in which someone (the guardian) is authorized by the clerk of superior court to be a substitute decision maker for an incompetent adult (the ward). Incompetence is determined in a court proceeding and means an individual is unable to manage his own affairs, or is unable to make important decisions.

Three types of guardian:

  • Guardian of the Person (makes decisions in most areas of the ward’s life, such as where they live, what type of care they receive, medical decisions)
  • Guardian of the Estate (has authority to manage the ward’s income and property)
  • General Guardian (has the powers and duties of both guardian of the person and guardian of the estate)

Anyone, including a family member, a representative of Social Services or another community agency, or anyone else who knows the person, may file a written request (a petition) with the clerk of superior court alleging that an adult should be declared incompetent and have a guardian appointed. Every clerk’s office has forms that may be completed and filed for the petition. The petition must include a sworn statement that the information in the petition is true.

Guardianship services include:

  • Case management.
  • Monthly assessments of ward’s needs (by visiting with the ward, communicating with health providers, and other persons who are involved with the ward).
  • Development of a service plan.
  • Quarterly assessments and yearly assessments.
  • File necessary reports with the court/estate division.

For more information

Contact Ashe County Department of Social Services at 336-846-5719 for a social worker to set up an assessment.