If a person is determined to be incompetent, the Court will appoint a Guardian of the Person, a Guardian of the Estate or a General Guardian. The role of a guardian is to make decisions on behalf of the incompetent person.
Guardians of the person have custody of the incompetent person and manages the medical, residential, health decisions and is responsible for the overall well being of the incompetent person.
The guardian of the estate of the ward takes possession, collects, preserves, manages and uses assets and income of the incompetent person and uses the assets and income for the benefit of the ward.
General guardians are responsible for both the health and the assets of the incompetent person.
The actions of all guardians are supervised by the Clerk of Superior Court however guardians of the estate must file an inventory, annual accountings and maintain adequate financial records. All guardians may seek guidance from the Court in certain circumstances and the Court's approval is needed in order to take certain actions such as selling the property of an incompetent person.
The rules as applied to guardians are complex. Guardians who fail to comply or fail to file accountings can be removed and can also be held in contempt of court. Guardians are permitted to employ professionals, including an attorney, to advise and assist with the performance of duties.