The first and foremost important things to consider when deciding to petiion for guardianship:   1)  Is guardianship really necessary for this person?    Is he/she capable of making their own decisions with a little help and support from family, friends and service providers?  2)  If a guardian is needed, is there a family member or trusted friend willing to serve?  3)  Determine which form of guardianship is the least restrictive for that individual.  

Partial Guardianship:   When the person with disabilities is capable of  making  some,  but not all,  of their own decisions.
                                                       The powers of a partial guardian must be specifically listed in the court order.    The duration of a
                                                       partial guardianship cannot be set for more than  five years.

Plenary Guardianship:  This is considered a full guardianship, and includes the responsibility of making all decisions  
                                                        on the behalf of the individual.   A plenary  does not normally expire unless ordered by the court 
                                                        or  determined by the judge at the time of the hearing. 

Stand-by Guardian:   When someone petitions the court to name a primary  guardian they may also include a request
                                                  for a stand-by guardian.   Stand-by status means this person/agency  may assume  guardianship
                                                  upon the death or resignation of the  primary guardian.    Call  for a hearing  is not required unless decided by 
                                                  the court.   Also, a stand-by guardian may act on behalf of the primary guardian, in emergency 
                                                  situations, when the guardian cannot be contacted.    


Remember,  at any time,  the  individual has the right to petition the court to modify the type of guardianship issued or to remove or change a guardian.   



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